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Sectoral vs. Aggregate Shocks: A Structural Factor Analysis of Industrial Production

  • Andrew T. Foerster
  • Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte
  • Mark W. Watson

This paper uses factor analytic methods to decompose industrial production (IP) into components arising from aggregate shocks and idiosyncratic sector-specific shocks. An approximate factor model finds that nearly all (90%) of the variability of quarterly growth rates in IP are associated with common factors. Because common factors may reflect sectoral shocks that have propagated by way of input-output linkages, we then use a multisector growth model to adjust for the effects of these linkages. In particular, we show that neoclassical multisector models, of the type first introduced by Long and Plosser (1983), produce an approximate factor model as a reduced form. A structural factor analysis then indicates that aggregate shocks continue to be the dominant source of variation in IP, but the importance of sectoral shocks more than doubles after the Great Moderation (to 30%). The increase in the relative importance of these shocks follows from a fall in the contribution of aggregate shocks to IP movements after 1984.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14389.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Publication status: published as Sectoral vs. Aggregregate Shocks: A Structural Factor Analysis of Industrial Production (with Andrew Foerster and Pierre-Danieal Sarte) Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 119, No. 1 (February 2011), pp 1-38
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14389
Note: EFG ME
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  1. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  2. Vasco M Carvalho, 2008. "Aggregate Fluctuations and the Network Structure of Intersectoral Trade," 2008 Meeting Papers 1062, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 733-772, 05.
  4. Danny Quah & Thomas J. Sargent, 1993. "A Dynamic Index Model for Large Cross Sections," CEP Discussion Papers dp0132, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Andrew T. Foerster & Pierre-Daniel G. Sarte & Mark W. Watson, 2008. "Sectoral vs. aggregate shocks : a structural factor analysis of industrial production," Working Paper 08-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  6. Brock, William A. & Mirman, Leonard J., 1972. "Optimal economic growth and uncertainty: The discounted case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 479-513, June.
  7. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1987. "Sectoral vs. Aggregate Shocks in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 333-36, May.
  8. John Shea, 1995. "Complementarities and Comovements," NBER Working Papers 5305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Lucrezia Reichlin & Marco Lippi, 2000. "The generalised dynamic factor model: identification and estimation," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10143, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Dupor, Bill, 1999. "Aggregation and irrelevance in multi-sector models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 391-409, April.
  11. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
  12. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
  13. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  14. Shea, John S, 2002. "Complementarities and Comovements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 412-33, May.
  15. Forni, Mario & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1995. "Let's Get Real: A Dynamic Factor Analytical Approach to Disaggregated Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 1244, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Connor, Gregory & Korajczyk, Robert A., 1988. "Risk and return in an equilibrium APT : Application of a new test methodology," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 255-289, September.
  17. Horvath, Michael, 2000. "Sectoral shocks and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 69-106, February.
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