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Large Firm Dynamics and the Business Cycle

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  • Vasco Carvalho
  • Basile Grassi

Abstract

Do large firm dynamics drive the business cycle? We answer this question by developing a quantitative theory of aggregate fluctuations caused by firm-level disturbances alone. We show that a standard heterogeneous firm dynamics setup already contains in it a theory of the business cycle, without appealing to aggregate shocks. We offer a complete analytical characterization of the law of motion of the aggregate state in this class of models - the firm size distribution - and show that the resulting closed form solutions for aggregate output and productivity dynamics display: (i) persistence, (ii) volatility and (iii) time-varying second moments. We explore the key role of moments of the firm size distribution - and, in particular, the role of large firm dynamics - in shaping aggregate fluctuations, theoretically, quantitatively and in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Vasco Carvalho & Basile Grassi, 2015. "Large Firm Dynamics and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 824, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:824
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Large Firm Dynamics and the Business Cycle
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2015-05-17 05:48:14

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    as


    Cited by:

    1. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko & Isabelle Mejean, 2018. "The Micro Origins of International Business-Cycle Comovement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(1), pages 82-108, January.
    2. Omar Blanco Arroyo & Simone Alfarano, 2017. "Granularity of the Business Cycle Fluctuations: The Spanish Case," Economía Coyuntural,Revista de temas de perspectivas y coyuntura, Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales 'José Ortiz Mercado' (IIES-JOM), Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Administrativas y Financieras, Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno, vol. 2(1), pages 31-58.
    3. Glenn Magerman & Karolien De Bruyne & Emmanuel Dhyne & Jan Van Hove, 2016. "Heterogeneous Firms and the Micro Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-35, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Michael Weber & Ali Ozdagli, 2016. "Monetary Policy Through Production Networks: Evidence from the Stock Market," 2016 Meeting Papers 148, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Rosario Crinò & Gino Gancia, 2018. "Firms and Economic Performance: A View from Trade," Working Papers 1047, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    6. Jean Imbs & Basile Grassi, 2016. "Why Risky Sectors Grow Fast," 2016 Meeting Papers 1209, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Chen Yeh, 2017. "Are firm-level idiosyncratic shocks important for U.S. aggregate volatility?," Working Papers 17-23, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. Ernesto Pasten & Raphael S. Schoenle & Michael Weber, 2017. "Price Rigidities and the Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," CESifo Working Paper Series 6619, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Marta Aloi & Huw Dixon & Anthony Savagar, 2018. "Labor Responses, Regulation and Business Churn in a Small Open Economy," Studies in Economics 1804, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    10. Guilloux-Nefussi, Sophie, 2016. "Globalization, market structure and inflation dynamics," Globalization Institute Working Papers 289, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    11. N. N., 2015. "WIFO-Monatsberichte, issue 11/2015," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(11), November.
    12. Marta Aloi & Huw Dixon & Anthony Savagar, 2018. "Labor Responses, Regulation and Business Churn in a Small Open Economy," Studies in Economics 1804, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    13. Fabio Ghironi, 2018. "Macro needs micro," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(1-2), pages 195-218.
    14. repec:eee:finsta:v:37:y:2018:i:c:p:74-96 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Huber, Peter & Oberhofer, Harald & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2017. "Who creates jobs? Econometric modeling and evidence for Austrian firm level data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 57-71.
    16. Carvalho, Vasco M & Grassi, Basile, 2015. "Large Firm Dynamics and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 10587, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Fernholz, Ricardo T. & Koch, Christoffer, 2016. "Why are big banks getting bigger?," Working Papers 1604, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    18. Ernesto Pasten & Raphael Schoenle & Michael Weber, 2017. "Price Rigidity and the Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 23750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Yoshihiko Hogen & Ko Miura & Koji Takahashi, 2017. "Large Firm Dynamics and Secular Stagnation: Evidence from Japan and the U.S," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 17-E-8, Bank of Japan.
    20. Distante, Roberta & Petrella, Ivan & Santoro, Emiliano, 2018. "Gibrat’s law and quantile regressions: An application to firm growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 5-9.
    21. Xavier Gabaix, 2016. "Comment," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 336-345.
    22. Chen Yeh, 2016. "Are firm-level idiosyncratic shocks important for U.S. aggregate volatility?," Working Papers 16-47, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    23. Martin Falk & Werner Hölzl & Harald Oberhofer, 2015. "The Importance of Firm-Level Data for Empirical Research and Economic Policy Consulting," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(11), pages 845-857, November.
    24. Xavier Gabaix, 2015. "Comment on "Networks and the Macroeconomy: An Empirical Exploration"," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2015, Volume 30, pages 336-345 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    large firm dynamics; firm size distribution; random growth; aggregate fluctuations;

    JEL classification:

    • 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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