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The Great Diversification and its Undoing

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  • Xavier Gabaix

    (NYU Stern)

  • Vasco M. Carvalho

    (CREI)

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the secular process of Structural Change - i.e. the broad shift away from manufacturing and towards services during the post war period - can simultaneously account for the Great Moderation and provide a mechanism for its unraveling. Based on detailed US sectoral output data, this paper (i) shows a U-shaped evolution of sectoral shares' concentration for the US and links it to the process of structural change; (ii) shows that the 1980s and 1990s correspond to the period of lowest technological concentration and that the rising shares of financial services, real estate and other business services explain the bulk of the upswing in technological concentration occurring during the 2000s and (iii) shows that the diversification occurring during the 1980s and 1990s is able to explain around half of the decline in aggregate TFP volatility. We then integrate these insights in a quantitative multi-sector business cycle model to show that the observed trends in technological diversification account for a third of the Great Moderation. The paper concludes by taking a closer look to the sources and effects of the observed upswing in technological concentration in the late 1990s and 2000s and discusses whether a return to higher aggregate volatility levels observed is possible.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 880.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:880

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References

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  1. M Sensier & D van Dijk, 2003. "Testing for Volatility Changes in US Macroeconomic Time Series," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 36, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
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  19. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2009. "International Trade and Aggregate Fluctuations in Granular Economies," Working Papers 585, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. “The Great Diversification and Its Unraveling,” V. Carvalho and X. Gabaix (2013)
    by afinetheorem in A Fine Theorem on 2013-08-09 22:25:07
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Cited by:
  1. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Peter F. Christoffersen & Francis X. Diebold, 2011. "Financial Risk Measurement for Financial Risk Management," CREATES Research Papers 2011-37, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  2. Giuseppe Berlingieri, 2013. "Outsourcing and the Rise in Services," CEP Discussion Papers dp1199, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Vasco Carvalho & Asuman Ozdaglar & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 2011. "The network origins of aggregate fluctuations," Economics Working Papers 1291, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Cristiano Cantore & Filippo Ferroni & Miguel A. León-Ledesma, 2012. "The dynamics of hours worked and technology," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1238, Banco de Espa�a.
  5. Baran Doda, 2012. "Evidence on CO2 emissions and business cycles," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 78, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  6. Cristiano Cantore & Filippo Ferroni & Miguel A León-Ledesma, 2012. "Interpreting the Hours-Technology time-varying relationship," Studies in Economics 1201, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  7. Jan Grobovsek (University of Edinburgh), 2013. "Development Accounting with Intermediate Goods," ESE Discussion Papers 223, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  8. Loris Rubini, 2013. "Growth, Structural Transformation, and Volatility," Documentos de Trabajo 444, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  9. Pogany, Peter, 2013. "Thermodynamic Isolation and the New World Order," MPRA Paper 49924, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. di Giovanni, Julian & Levchenko, Andrei A. & Mejean, Isabelle, 2012. "Firms, Destinations, and Aggregate Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 9168, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Lorenzo Burlon, 2012. "How Do Aggregate Fluctuations Depend on the Network Structure of the Economy?," Working Papers in Economics 278, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  12. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2012. "Comment on "The Geography of the Great Recession"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2012, pages 336-343 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Manjola Tase, 2013. "Sectoral allocation, risk efficiency and the Great Moderation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-73, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Constant Lonkeng Ngouana, 2013. "Structural Transformation and the Volatility of Aggregate Output in OECD Countries," IMF Working Papers 13/43, International Monetary Fund.

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