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The Micro Origins of International Business Cycle Comovement

Listed author(s):
  • Julian di Giovanni
  • Andrei A. Levchenko
  • Isabelle Mejean

This paper investigates the role of individual firms in international business cycle comovement using data covering the universe of French firm-level value added, bilateral imports and exports, and cross-border ownership over the period 1993-2007. At the micro level, controlling for firm and country effects, trade in goods with a particular foreign country is associated with a significantly higher correlation between a firm and that foreign country. In addition, foreign multinational affiliates operating in France are significantly more correlated with the source economy. The impact of direct trade and multinational linkages on comovement at the micro level has significant macro implications. Because internationally connected firms are systematically larger than non- internationally connected firms, the firms directly linked to foreign countries represent only 8% of all firms, but 56% of all value added, and account for 75% of the observed aggregate comovement. Without those linkages the correlation between France and foreign countries would fall by about 0.091, or one-third of the observed average business cycle correlation of 0.29 in our sample of partner countries. These results are evidence of transmission of business cycle shocks through direct trade and multinational ownership linkages at the firm level.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21885.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 21885.

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Date of creation: Jan 2016
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21885
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  1. Liao, Wei & Santacreu, Ana Maria, 2014. "The Trade Comovement Puzzle and the Margins of International Trade," Working Papers 2014-43, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Ufuk Akcigit & William Kerr, 2015. "Networks and the Macroeconomy: An Empirical Exploration," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2015, Volume 30, pages 276-335 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. repec:bof:bofrdp:urn:nbn:fi:bof-201512101464 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Javier Cravino & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2015. "Multinational Firms and International Business Cycle Transmission," Working Papers 643, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  5. Bruce A. Blonigen & Jeremy Piger & Nicholas Sly, 2012. "Comovement in GDP Trends and Cycles Among Trading Partners," NBER Working Papers 18032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Vasco Carvalho & Basile Grassi, 2015. "Large firm dynamics and the business cycle," Economics Working Papers 1481, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Enghin Atalay, 2014. "How Important Are Sectoral Shocks," Working Papers 14-31, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Ng, Eric C.Y., 2010. "Production fragmentation and business-cycle comovement," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-14, September.
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