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Cross-sectional heterogeneity and the persistence of aggregate fluctuations

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  • Michelacci, Claudio

Abstract

The micro evidence indicates that small firms grow faster than big firms. I argue that this relationship between the expected growth rate of a firm and its size may provide a micro foundation for the well-known high degree of persistence of shocks to aggregate output. The logic goes as follows. Almost any shock tends to temporarily alter firms’ incentive to invest in growth thereby leading to a reallocation of firms across size categories. If small firms grow faster than big ones, the impact effect of the shock on aggregate output is gradually absorbed. But, as fast growing small firms become big and start to grow at the lower rate of big firms, the rate at which the shock is absorbed decreases over the adjustment path. As a result, shocks are absorbed, yet at a very low decreasing rate that induces long memory in aggregate output. I argue that this transmission mechanism may reconcile the micro evidence with the observed degree of aggregate persistence. It requires changes in neither the number of firms in the market nor the rate of technological progress. It is merely the result of the cross-sectional heterogeneity that we observe in real economies.
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  • Michelacci, Claudio, 2004. "Cross-sectional heterogeneity and the persistence of aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1321-1352, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:51:y:2004:i:7:p:1321-1352
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    Cited by:

    1. Luis Fernando Lanaspa Santolaria & Irene Olloqui Cuartero & Fernando Sanz Garcia, 2012. "Common Trends and Linkages in the US Manufacturing Sector, 1969–2000," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(5), pages 1093-1111, September.
    2. Winkelried, Diego & Castillo, Paul, 2010. "Dollarization persistence and individual heterogeneity," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1596-1618, December.
    3. Samaniego, Roberto M., 2006. "Organizational capital, technology adoption and the productivity slowdown," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1555-1569, October.
    4. Juan J. Dolado & Jesús Gonzalo & Laura Mayoral, 2005. "What is what?: A simple time-domain test of long-memory vs. structural breaks," Economics Working Papers 954, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    5. Zaffaroni, Paolo, 2004. "Contemporaneous aggregation of linear dynamic models in large economies," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 75-102, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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