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Cross-Sectoral Variation in Firm-Level Idiosyncratic Risk

  • CASTRO, Rui
  • CLEMENTI, Gian Luca
  • LEE, Yoonsoo

We estimate firm–level idiosyncratic risk in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Our proxy for risk is the volatility of the portion of growth in sales or TFP which is not explained by either industry– or economy–wide factors, or firm characteristics systematically associated with growth itself. We find that idiosyncratic risk accounts for about 90% of the overall uncertainty faced by firms. The extent of cross–sectoral variation in idiosyncratic risk is remarkable. Firms in the most volatile sector are subject to at least three times as much uncertainty as firms in the least volatile. Our evidence indicates that idiosyncratic risk is higher in industries where the extent of creative destruction is likely to be greater.

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Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 15-2010.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:15-2010
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  1. John Haltiwanger & C J Krizan & Lucia Foster, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons From Microeconomic Evidence," Working Papers 98-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  3. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  4. Malkiel, Burton & Campbell, John & Lettau, Martin & Xu, Yexiao, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Scholarly Articles 3128707, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R Troske & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Technology and Jobs: Secular Changes and Cyclical Dynamics," Working Papers 96-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Quality Ladders And Product Cycles," Papers 152, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  7. CASTRO, Rui & CLEMENTI, Gian Luca & MACDONALD, Glenn, 2009. "Legal Institutions, Sectoral Heterogeneity, and Economic Development," Cahiers de recherche 2009-08, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  8. Mark Bils & Yongsung Chang, 1999. "Understanding How Price Responds to Costs and Production," NBER Working Papers 7311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Claudio Michelacci & Fabiano Schivardi, 2010. "Does Idiosyncratic Business Risk Matter?," Working Papers CELEG 1002, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
  10. Stephen Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded Versus Privately Held Firms," Working Papers 06-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. repec:ste:nystbu:05-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
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