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Large Firm Dynamics and the Business Cycle

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  • Carvalho, Vasco M
  • Grassi, Basile

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

  • Carvalho, Vasco M & Grassi, Basile, 2015. "Large Firm Dynamics and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 10587, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10587
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Weber & Ali Ozdagli, 2016. "Monetary Policy Through Production Networks: Evidence from the Stock Market," 2016 Meeting Papers 148, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. 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.
    3. Ernesto Pasten & Raphael Schoenle & Michael Weber, 2017. "Price Rigidities and the Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 23750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Carvalho, Vasco M & Grassi, Basile, 2015. "Large Firm Dynamics and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 10587, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. 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.
    6. S. Guilloux-Nefussi, 2016. "Globalization, Market Structure and Inflation Dynamics," Working papers 610, Banque de France.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Rosario Crinò & Gino Gancia, 2018. "Firms and Economic Performance: A view from Trade," Working Papers 1034, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    10. Jean Imbs & Basile Grassi, 2016. "Why Risky Sectors Grow Fast," 2016 Meeting Papers 1209, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Fabio Ghironi, 2018. "Macro needs micro," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(1-2), pages 195-218.
    12. repec:eee:ecolet:v:164:y:2018:i:c:p:5-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. N. N., 2015. "WIFO-Monatsberichte, issue 11/2015," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(11), November.
    16. Marta Aloi & Huw Dixon & Anthony Savagar, 2018. "Labour responses, regulation and business churn in a small open economy," Discussion Papers 2018/06, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    17. Fernholz, Ricardo T. & Koch, Christoffer, 2016. "Why are big banks getting bigger?," Working Papers 1604, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Xavier Gabaix, 2016. "Comment," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 336-345.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.
    23. 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

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

    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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