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

Firms’ Heterogeneous Sensitivities to the Business Cycle, and the Cross-Section of Expected Returns

  • François Gourio

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

In this paper, I propose and test a simple technology-based theory of firms’ sensitivities to aggregate shocks. I show that when the elasticity of substitution between capital and labor is below unity, low profitability firms are more sensitive to aggregate shocks, i.e. to the business cycle. Since the wage is smoother than productivity, revenues are more procyclical than costs, making profits, the residual procyclical. Firms with low profitability are more procyclical since the residual is smaller and the amplification greater. I study the asset pricing implications of this technology and find that it can explain the riskiness of small and “value” firms (Fama and French 1996). These firms are less profitable and are thus more procyclical. I find empirically that the cross-section of expected returns is well explained by differences in sensitivities of firms’ earnings to GDP growth, or by differences in profitability. The model yields rich empirical implications by linking a firm’s real behavior (the elasticity of output, employment and profits to an aggregate shock) to its financial characteristics (the firm’s betas and its average return). I next embed my partial equilibrium model in a full DSGE model to conduct a GE analysis. Empirically I show that firms with low margins are indeed more sensitive to the business cycle in their employment, sales or profits.

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.

Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2006-005.

as
in new window

Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2006-005
Contact details of provider: Postal: 270 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-4389
Fax: 617-353-4449
Web page: http://www.bu.edu/econ/

More information through EDIRC

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. Martin Neil Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 1998. "Labor Productivity: Structural Change and Cyclical Dynamics," Working Papers 98-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Douglas W Dwyer, 2001. "Plant-Level Productivity and the Market Value of a Firm," Working Papers 01-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Campbell, John & Vuolteenaho, Tuomo, 2004. "Bad Beta, Good Beta," Scholarly Articles 3122489, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1996. " Multifactor Explanations of Asset Pricing Anomalies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 55-84, March.
  5. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  6. Chad Syverson, 2003. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," NBER Working Papers 10049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider & Selale Tuzel, 2004. "Housing, Consumption and Asset Pricing," 2004 Meeting Papers 357c, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-79, March.
  9. Fumio Hayashi, 1981. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average a : A Neoclassical Interpretation," Discussion Papers 457, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Pakos, Michal, 2004. "Asset Pricing with Durable Goods and Nonhomothetic Preferences," MPRA Paper 26167, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 1979. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Working Papers 127, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
  13. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1998. "The Role of Investment-Specific Technological Change in the Business Cycle," RCER Working Papers 449, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  14. Anil Kashyap & Francois Gourio, 2007. "Investment Spikes: New Facts and a General Equilibrium Exploration," 2007 Meeting Papers 148, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Murray Carlson & Adlai Fisher & Ron Giammarino, 2006. "Corporate Investment and Asset Price Dynamics: Implications for SEO Event Studies and Long-Run Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1009-1034, 06.
  16. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. Lu Zhang, 2005. "The Value Premium," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 67-103, 02.
  18. Gomme, P. & Greenwood, J., 1993. "On the Cyclical Allocation of Risk," RCER Working Papers 355, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  19. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2005. "Capacity constraints, asymmetries, and the business cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 850-865, October.
  20. Motohiro Yogo, 2006. "A Consumption-Based Explanation of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(2), pages 539-580, 04.
  21. Murray Carlson & Adlai Fisher & Ron Giammarino, 2004. "Corporate Investment and Asset Price Dynamics: Implications for the Cross-section of Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(6), pages 2577-2603, December.
  22. Martin Lettau & Sydney Ludvigson, 2001. "Resurrecting the (C)CAPM: A Cross-Sectional Test When Risk Premia Are Time-Varying," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1238-1287, December.
  23. Simon Gilchrist & John C. Williams, 1998. "Putty-clay and investment: a business cycle analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  24. Joao Gomes & Leonid Kogan & Lu Zhang, 2003. "Equilibrium Cross Section of Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 693-732, August.
  25. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Raff, Daniel M. G., 1991. "Intra-Industry Heterogeneity and the Great Depression: The American Motor Vehicles Industry, 1929–1935," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(02), pages 317-331, June.
  26. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1997. "Industry costs of equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 153-193, February.
  27. Ravi Bansal & Robert F. Dittmar & Christian T. Lundblad, 2005. "Consumption, Dividends, and the Cross Section of Equity Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1639-1672, 08.
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:bos:wpaper:wp2006-005. 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: (Gillian Gurish)

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.