IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations

  • Xavier Gabaix

This paper proposes that idiosyncratic firm-level fluctuations can explain an important part of aggregate shocks, and provide a microfoundation for aggregate productivity shocks. Existing research has focused on using aggregate shocks to explain business cycles, arguing that individual firm shocks average out in aggregate. I show that this argument breaks down if the distribution of firm sizes is fat-tailed, as documented empirically. The idiosyncratic movements of the largest 100 firms in the US appear to explain about one third of variations in output and the Solow residual. This "granular" hypothesis suggests new directions for macroeconomic research, in particular that macroeconomic questions can be clarified by looking at the behavior of large firms. This paper's ideas and analytical results may also be useful to think about the fluctuations of other economic aggregates, such as exports or the trade balance.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 79 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (05)
Pages: 733-772

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:79:y:2011:i:3:p:733-772
Contact details of provider: Phone: 1 212 998 3820
Fax: 1 212 995 4487
Web page: http://www.econometricsociety.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: https://www.econometricsociety.org/publications/econometrica/access/ordering-back-issues Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Miles S. Kimball & John G. Fernald & Susanto Basu, 2006. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1418-1448, December.
  2. L. A. N. Amaral & S. V. Buldyrev & S. Havlin & H. Leschhorn & P. Maass & M. A. Salinger & H. E. Stanley & M. H. R. Stanley, 1997. "Scaling behavior in economics: I. Empirical results for company growth," Papers cond-mat/9702082, arXiv.org.
  3. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting trade: firms, industries, and export destinations," Staff Report 332, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2004. "A New Measure of Monetary Shocks: Derivation and Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1055-1084, September.
  5. Hamilton, James D., 2003. "What is an oil shock?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 363-398, April.
  6. Kraay, Aart & Ventura, Jaume, 1998. "Comparative advantage and the cross-section of business cycles," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1948, The World Bank.
  7. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 11034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John G. Fernald & Susanto Basu, 1999. "Why is productivity procyclical? Why do we care?," International Finance Discussion Papers 638, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Xavier Gabaix & Parameswaran Gopikrishnan & Vasiliki Plerou & H. Eugene Stanley, 2006. "Institutional Investors and Stock Market Volatility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 461-504, May.
  10. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  11. Andrei A. Levchenko & Julian di Giovanni, 2009. "International Trade and Aggregate Fluctuations in Granular Economies," 2009 Meeting Papers 491, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  13. Andrew T. Foerster & Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte & Mark W. Watson, 2008. "Sectoral vs. aggregate shocks : a structural factor analysis of industrial production," Working Paper 08-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  14. Yoshi Fujiwara & Corrado Di Guilmi & Hideaki Aoyama & Mauro Gallegati & Wataru Souma, 2003. "Do Pareto-Zipf and Gibrat laws hold true? An analysis with European Firms," Papers cond-mat/0310061, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2003.
  15. Youngki Lee & Luis A. N. Amaral & David Canning & Martin Meyer & H. Eugene Stanley, 1998. "Universal features in the growth dynamics of complex organizations," Papers cond-mat/9804100, arXiv.org.
  16. Michael Horvath, 1998. "Cyclicality and Sectoral Linkages: Aggregate Fluctuations from Independent Sectoral Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(4), pages 781-808, October.
  17. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
  18. Peter Bak & Kan Chen & Jose Scheinkman & Michael Woodford, 1992. "Aggregate Fluctuations from Independent Sectoral Shocks: Self-Organized Criticality in a Model of Production and Inventory Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 4241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Canning, D. & Amaral, L. A. N. & Lee, Y. & Meyer, M. & Stanley, H. E., 1998. "Scaling the volatility of GDP growth rates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 335-341, September.
  20. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1987. "Micro Shocks and Aggregate Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 395-409, May.
  21. Hulten, Charles R, 1978. "Growth Accounting with Intermediate Inputs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 511-18, October.
  22. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1997. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 709-51, August.
  23. Horvath, Michael, 2000. "Sectoral shocks and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 69-106, February.
  24. Mikhail Golosov & Robert E. Lucas, 2003. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," NBER Working Papers 10187, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel, 2003. "Adjustment is Much Slower than You Think," NBER Working Papers 9898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1996. "Imperfect Competition and the Effects of Energy Price Increases on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 5634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Stephen Hymer & Peter Pashigian, 1962. "Firm Size and Rate of Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 556.
  28. Blank, Sven & Buch, Claudia M. & Neugebauer, Katja, 2009. "Shocks at large banks and banking sector distress: The Banking Granular Residual," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 353-373, December.
  29. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, 05.
  30. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & Todd Mitton, 2009. "Determinants of Vertical Integration: Financial Development and Contracting Costs," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1251-1290, 06.
  31. Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2007. "Selection, Growth, and the Size Distribution of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1103-1144, 08.
  32. Margaret McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  33. Francesco Franco & Thomas Philippon, 2007. "Firms and Aggregate Dynamics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 587-600, November.
  34. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1996. "Returns to scale in U.S. production: estimates and implications," International Finance Discussion Papers 546, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  35. Marianne Bertrand & Simon Johnson & Krislert Samphantharak & Antoinette Schoar, 2008. "Mixing Family With Business: A Study of Thai Business Groups and the Families Behind Them," NBER Working Papers 13738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Harberger, Arnold C, 1998. "A Vision of the Growth Process," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 1-32, March.
  37. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
  38. Robert J. Gordon, 1980. "Postwar Macroeconomics: The Evolution of Events and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 0459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Vasco Carvalho, 2007. "Aggregate fluctuations and the network structure of intersectoral trade," Economics Working Papers 1206, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2010.
  40. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Diego Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2005. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 11388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Timothy G. Conley & Bill Dupor, 2003. "A Spatial Analysis of Sectoral Complementarity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 311-352, April.
  43. Faccio, Mara & Lang, Larry H. P., 2002. "The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-395, September.
  44. Durlauf, Steven N, 1993. "Nonergodic Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 349-66, April.
  45. Stephen Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded Versus Privately Held Firms," Working Papers 06-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  46. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Establishment Size Dynamics in the Aggregate Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1639-1666, December.
  47. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abra56-1, August.
  48. Claudia Canals & Xavier Gabaix & Josep M. Vilarrubia & David Weinstein, 2007. "Trade patterns, trade balances and idiosyncratic shocks," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0721, Banco de Espa�a.
  49. Nirei, Makoto, 2006. "Threshold behavior and aggregate fluctuation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 309-322, March.
  50. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  51. Yannick Malevergne & Pedro Santa-Clara & Didier Sornette, 2009. "Professor Zipf goes to Wall Street," NBER Working Papers 15295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  52. Moses Abramovitz, 1956. "Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870," NBER Chapters, in: Resource and Output Trends in the United States Since 1870, pages 1-23 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  53. S. V. Buldyrev & L. A. N. Amaral & S. Havlin & H. Leschhorn & P. Maass & M. A. Salinger & H. E. Stanley & M. H. R. Stanley, 1997. "Scaling behavior in economics: II. Modeling of company growth," Papers cond-mat/9702085, arXiv.org.
  54. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Online Appendix to "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle"," Technical Appendices 09-191, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  55. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538.
  56. Shea, John S, 2002. "Complementarities and Comovements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 412-33, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:79:y:2011:i:3:p:733-772. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.