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Heterogeneous Firms and the Micro Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations

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  • Glenn Magerman
  • Karolien De Bruyne
  • Emmanuel Dhyne
  • Jan Van Hove

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of idiosyncratic productivity shocks to individual firms on aggregate output. Two sources of firm-level heterogeneity contribute to aggregate fluctuations: (i) asymmetries in supplier-buyer relationships and (ii) the skewed distribution of sales to final demand. We first develop a model with monopolistic competitive firms and derive a generalized centrality measure that takes these two sources of heterogeneity into account. The model is subsequently estimated using unique data on firm-to-firm transactions across all economic activities in Belgium. The model generates aggregate volatility from micro origins in the same order of magnitude as observed volatility in GDP. The top 100 firms contribute to 90% of the volatility generated by the model, underlining a strong granularity of the economy. Counterfactual analysis further shows that both sources of micro heterogeneity contribute substantially to aggregate fluctuations, while the relative contribution of each channel crucially depends on the labor share in the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/239575
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vasco M. CARVALHO & NIREI Makoto & SAITO Yukiko, 2014. "Supply Chain Disruptions: Evidence from the Great East Japan Earthquake," Discussion papers 14035, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    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. Glenn Magerman & Emmanuel Dhyne & Stela Rubínova, 2015. "The Belgian production network 2002-2012," Working Paper Research 288, National Bank of Belgium.
    4. Andrew B. Bernard & Andreas Moxnes, 2018. "Networks and Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp1541, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. MIYAUCHI Yuhei & MIYAKAWA Daisuke, 2017. "Market Thickness, Input-Output Linkages, and Agglomeration," Discussion papers 17072, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:mnb:finrev:v:16:y:2017:i:2:p:40-63 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Spray, J., 2017. "Reorganise, Replace or Expand? The role of the supply-chain in first-time exporting," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1741, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    10. Kevin Lim, 2017. "Firm-to-firm Trade in Sticky Production Networks," 2017 Meeting Papers 280, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    heterogeneous firms; networks; input-output linkages; aggregate volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

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