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The Micro Origins of International Business-Cycle Comovement

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Listed:
  • Julian Di Giovanni

    (ICREA - Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, CREI - Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional - UPF - Universitat Pompeu Fabra [Barcelona], CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)

  • Andrei A Levchenko

    (University of Michigan [Ann Arbor] - University of Michigan System, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research [New York] - NBER - The National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Isabelle Mejean

    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of individual firms in international business-cycle comovement using data covering the universe of French firm-level value added and international linkages over the period 1993-2007. At the micro level, trade and multinational linkages with a particular foreign country are associated with a significantly higher correlation between a firm and that foreign country. The impact of direct linkages on comovement at the micro level has significant macro implications. Without those linkages the correlation between France and foreign countries would fall by about 0.098, or one-third of the observed average correlation of 0.291 in our sample of partner countries. (JEL F14, F23, F44, F62, L14) Countries that exhibit greater bilateral trade and multinational production linkages have more correlated business cycles (Frankel and Rose 1998; Kleinert, Martin, and Toubal 2015). While the empirical literature has repeatedly confirmed the trade-comovement relationship in the data, its meaning is not well understood, either empirically or quantitatively. Taken at face value, the positive association between bilateral trade and multinational linkages and comovement is often interpreted as evidence of transmission of shocks across countries through those linkages. The empirical literature has faced two related challenges. The first is the critique by Imbs (2004) that countries that trade more with each other are similar in other ways, and thus subject to common shocks. Under an extreme version of this view, the trade linkage variable in the Frankel-Rose specification does not reflect the

Suggested Citation

  • Julian Di Giovanni & Andrei A Levchenko & Isabelle Mejean, 2018. "The Micro Origins of International Business-Cycle Comovement," Post-Print hal-01936678, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01936678
    DOI: 10.1257/aer.20160091
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-polytechnique.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01936678
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    JEL classification:

    • F44 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - International Business Cycles
    • F61 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Microeconomic Impacts
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts

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