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Diverging Trends in Macro and Micro Volatility: Facts

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  • Diego Comin
  • Sunil Mulani

Abstract

This paper documents the diverging trends in volatility of the growth rate of sales at the aggregate and firm level. We establish that the upward trend in micro volatility is not simply driven by a compositional bias in the sample studied. We argue that this new fact sheds some shadows on the proposed explanations for the decline in aggregate volatility and that, given the symmetry of the diverging trends at the micro and macro level, a common explanation is likely. We conclude by describing one such theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Comin & Sunil Mulani, 2004. "Diverging Trends in Macro and Micro Volatility: Facts," NBER Working Papers 10922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10922 Note: EFG
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    Cited by:

    1. claudio Michelacci & Fabiano Schivardi, 2008. "Does Idiosyncratic Business Risk Matter?," EIEF Working Papers Series 0813, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jul 2008.
    2. Hornstein, Andreas & Krusell, Per & Violante, Giovanni L., 2005. "The Effects of Technical Change on Labor Market Inequalities," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 20, pages 1275-1370 Elsevier.
    3. Ruediger Bachmann & Christian Bayer, 2009. "Firm-Specific Productivity Risk over the Business Cycle: Facts and Aggregate Implications," 2009 Meeting Papers 869, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. García-Vega, María & Guariglia, Alessandra & Spaliara, Marina-Eliza, 2012. "Volatility, financial constraints, and trade," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 57-76.
    5. Raphael Bergoeing & Andrea Repetto, 2006. "Micro Efficiency and Aggregate Growth in Chile," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 43(127), pages 169-192.
    6. Comin, Diego & Groshen, Erica L. & Rabin, Bess, 2009. "Turbulent firms, turbulent wages?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 109-133, January.
    7. Xavier Gabaix, 2004. "Power laws and the origins of aggregate fluctuations," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 484, Econometric Society.
    8. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
    9. Juan M. Sánchez & Emircan Yurdagul, 2013. "Why are U.S. firms holding so much cash? an exploration of cross-sectional variation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue July, pages 293-325.
    10. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J. & Zhang, Xiaoyan, 2012. "Aggregate Idiosyncratic Volatility," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(06), pages 1155-1185, December.
    11. Thesmar, David & Thoenig, Mathias, 2009. "Contrasting Trends in Firm Volatility: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 7135, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Christopher Kent & Crystal Ossolinski & Luke Willard, 2007. "The Rise of Household Indebtedness," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Christopher Kent & Jeremy Lawson (ed.), The Structure and Resilience of the Financial System Reserve Bank of Australia.
    13. repec:pri:cepsud:113krusell is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Euwals, Rob & Hogerbrugge, Maurice, 2006. "Explaining the Growth of Part-Time Employment: Factors of Supply and Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 5595, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2009. "Volatility Accounting: A Production Perspective on Increased Economic Stability," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 671-696, June.
    16. Dynan, Karen E. & Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2006. "Can financial innovation help to explain the reduced volatility of economic activity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 123-150, January.
    17. Hui Guo & Robert Savickas, 2006. "Aggregate idiosyncratic volatility in G7 countries," Working Papers 2004-027, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    18. Owen Irvine & Scott Schuh, 2007. "The roles of comovement and inventory investment in the reduction of output volatility," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    19. Diego A. Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2006. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 167-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Miles Parker, 2006. "Diverging Trends in Aggregate and Firm-Level Volatility in the UK," Discussion Papers 16, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
    21. Davis, Steven J. & Faberman, R. Jason & Haltiwanger, John C., 2005. "The Flow Approach to Labor Markets: New Data Sources, Micro-Macro Links and the Recent Downturn," IZA Discussion Papers 1639, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Hyunbae Chun & Jung-Wook Kim & Jason Lee & Randall Morck, 2004. "Patterns of Comovement: The Role of Information Technology in the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 10937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Michael W. Klein & Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 2002. "Troubled Banks, Impaired Foreign Direct Investment: The Role of Relative Access to Credit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 664-682.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations

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