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Aggregate Shocks or Aggregate Information? Costly Information and Business Cycle Comovement

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  • Laura Veldkamp
  • Justin Wolfers

Abstract

Synchronized expansions and contractions across sectors define business cycles. Yet synchronization is puzzling because productivity across sectors exhibits weak correlation. While previous work examined production complementarity, our analysis explores complementarity in information acquisition. Because information about future productivity has a high fixed cost of production and a low marginal cost of replication, sectors can share the cost to forecast their sector-specific productivity. Sectors with common, aggregate information make highly correlated productions choices. By filtering out sector-specific shocks and transmitting aggregate ones, information markets amplify business-cycle comovement.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Veldkamp & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Aggregate Shocks or Aggregate Information? Costly Information and Business Cycle Comovement," NBER Working Papers 12557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12557
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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