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Financial frictions and fluctuations in volatility

  • Cristina Arellano
  • Yan Bai
  • Patrick J. Kehoe

During the recent U.S. financial crisis, the large decline in economic activity and credit was accompanied by a large increase in the dispersion of growth rates across firms. However, even though aggregate labor and output fell sharply during this period, labor productivity did not. These features motivate us to build a model in which increased volatility at the firm level generates a downturn but has little effect on labor productivity. In the model, hiring inputs is risky because financial frictions limit firms' ability to insure against shocks that occur between the time of production and the receipt of revenues. Hence, an increase in idiosyncratic volatility induces firms to reduce their inputs to reduce such risk. We find that our model can generate about 67% of the decline in output of the Great Recession of 2007–2009.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 466.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:466
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  1. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
  2. Guido Lorenzoni & Veronica Guerrieri, 2011. "Credit Crises, Precautionary Savings and the Liquidity Trap," 2011 Meeting Papers 1414, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Yongseok Shin & Joe Kaboski & Francisco J. Buera, 2008. "Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors," 2008 Meeting Papers 955, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Francisco J. Buera & Yongseok Shin, 2013. "Financial Frictions and the Persistence of History: A Quantitative Exploration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 221 - 272.
  5. Toshihiko Mukoyama & Yoonsoo Lee, 2008. "Entry, Exit, and Plant-level Dynamics over the Business Cycle," 2008 Meeting Papers 454, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2010. "Monetary Non-Neutrality in a Multisector Menu Cost Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 961-1013, August.
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