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Microeconomic Origins of Macroeconomic Tail Risks

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Asuman Ozdaglar
  • Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi

Abstract

Using a multisector general equilibrium model, we show that the interplay of idiosyncratic microeconomic shocks and sectoral heterogeneity results in systematic departures in the likelihood of large economic downturns relative to what is implied by the normal distribution. Such departures can emerge even though GDP fluctuations are approximately normally distributed away from the tails, highlighting the different nature of large economic downturns from regular business-cycle fluctuations. We further demonstrate the special role of input-output linkages in generating tail comovements, whereby large recessions involve not only significant GDP contractions, but also large simultaneous declines across a wide range of industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Asuman Ozdaglar & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 2017. "Microeconomic Origins of Macroeconomic Tail Risks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 54-108, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:1:p:54-108
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20151086
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D57 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Input-Output Tables and Analysis
    • E16 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Social Accounting Matrix
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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