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Why the Link Between Volatility and Growth is Both Positive and Negative

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  • Imbs, Jean

Abstract

I revisit the relationship between growth and volatility in two different disaggregated datasets. I confirm that growth and volatility are negatively related across countries, but show that the relation reverses itself across sectors. This phenomenon, sometimes called the ‘Simpson’s fallacy’, has a natural interpretation in the present context: it is the component of aggregate volatility that is common across sectors that correlates negatively with aggregate growth. Furthermore, while investment and volatility are unrelated in the aggregate, sectoral investment is shown to be more intense in volatile activities, as if the return to capital were higher there. These results call for a distinction between macroeconomic and sectoral volatilities, not unlike that between macroeconomics, where volatility often means policy-driven instability, and finance, where volatility reflects risk, and thus high returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Imbs, Jean, 2002. "Why the Link Between Volatility and Growth is Both Positive and Negative," CEPR Discussion Papers 3561, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3561
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    Cited by:

    1. Aaron Tornell & Frank Westermann & Lorenza Martinez, 2004. "The Positive Link Between Financial Liberalization Growth and Crises," UCLA Economics Working Papers 834, UCLA Department of Economics.
    2. Kose, M. Ayhan & Prasad, Eswar S. & Terrones, Marco E., 2006. "How do trade and financial integration affect the relationship between growth and volatility?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 176-202, June.
    3. Pamela Góngora Salazar, 2010. "Determinantes de la volatilidad en el producto: evidencia empírica," VNIVERSITAS ECONÓMICA 008297, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
    4. Hnatkovska, Viktoria & Loayza, Norman, 2004. "Volatility and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3184, The World Bank.
    5. Jeffrey Edwards & Benhua Yang, 2009. "An empirical refinement of the relationship between growth and volatility," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(11), pages 1331-1343.
    6. Emiliano Basco & Tomás Castagnino & Sebastián Katz & Sebastián Vargas (ed.), 2007. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty, Regime Change and High Volatility," BCRA Paper Series, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, number 04, December.
    7. Douglas Sutherland & Peter Hoeller, 2014. "Growth Policies and Macroeconomic Stability," OECD Economic Policy Papers 8, OECD Publishing.
    8. Nabil ALIMI, 2016. "The Effect Of Economic Freedom On Business Cycle Volatility: Case Of Developing Countries," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 43, pages 139-158.
    9. E Andreou & A Pelloni & M Sensier, 2003. "The effect of nominal shock uncertainty on output growth," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 40, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    10. Ricardo Hausmann & Rodrigo Wagner & Francisco Rodriguez, 2006. "Growth Collapses," CID Working Papers 136, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    11. Jorg Dopke, 2004. "How Robust is the Empirical Link between Business-Cycle Volatility and Long-Run Growth in OECD Countries?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-23.
    12. Leonidas Spiliopoulos, 2005. "What determines macroeconomic volatility? A cross-section and panel data study," Macroeconomics 0505026, EconWPA.
    13. Keith Blackburn & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2008. "Human capital accumulation and output growth in a stochastic environment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 36(3), pages 435-452, September.
    14. Ramirez-Rondán Nelson, 2007. "Nonlinear Volatility Effects on Growth in Developing Economies," Working Papers 2007-016, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    15. K Blackburn & D Varvarigos, 2006. "Human Capital Accumulation in a Stochastic Environment: Some New Results on the Relationship Between Growth and Volatility," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 74, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    16. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2006. "On stabilisation policy: Are there conflicting implications for growth and welfare?," Discussion Paper Series 2006_19, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Jul 2006.
    17. Karl Aiginger & Martin Falk, 2005. "Explaining Differences in Economic Growth among OECD Countries," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 19-43, March.
    18. Emiliano Basco & Tomás Castagnino & Sebastián Katz & Sebastián Vargas, 2007. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty, Regime Change and High Volatility," BCRA Working Paper Series 200725, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department.
    19. Keith Blackburn & Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2006. "Human Capital Accumulation in a Stochastic Environment: Some New Results on the Relationship Between Growth and Volatility," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0618, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    20. Michael Jetter, 2013. "Volatility and Growth: An Explanation for the Disagreement," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010944, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    21. Jetter, Michael, 2014. "Volatility and growth: Governments are key," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 71-88.
    22. Aaron Tornell, 2003. "Liberalization, Growth and Financial Crises (October 2003)," UCLA Economics Online Papers 276, UCLA Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    growth; sectors; volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General

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