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How do output growth-rate distributions look like? Some cross-country, time-series evidence


  • G. Fagiolo


  • M. Napoletano


  • A. Roventini



This paper investigates the statistical properties of within-country gross domestic product (GDP) and industrial production (IP) growth-rate distributions. Many empirical contributions have recently pointed out that cross-section growth rates of firms, industries and countries all follow Laplace distributions. In this work, we test whether also within-country, time-series GDP and IP growth rates can be approximated by tent-shaped distributions. We fit output growth rates with the exponential-power (Subbotin) family of densities, which includes as particular cases both Gaussian and Laplace distributions. We find that, for a large number of OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries including the US, both GDP and IP growth rates are Laplace distributed. Moreover, we show that fat-tailed distributions robustly emerge even after controlling for outliers, autocorrelation and heteroscedasticity. Copyright EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag 2007

Suggested Citation

  • G. Fagiolo & M. Napoletano & A. Roventini, 2007. "How do output growth-rate distributions look like? Some cross-country, time-series evidence," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 57(2), pages 205-211, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eurphb:v:57:y:2007:i:2:p:205-211
    DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2007-00153-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Corrado Di Guilmi & Mauro Gallegati & Edoardo Gaffeo, 2003. "Power Law Scaling in the World Income Distribution," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(6), pages 1-7.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reiner Franke, 2015. "How Fat-Tailed is US Output Growth?," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 213-242, May.
    2. Williams, Michael A. & Baek, Grace & Li, Yiyang & Park, Leslie Y. & Zhao, Wei, 2017. "Global evidence on the distribution of GDP growth rates," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 468(C), pages 750-758.


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