IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed016/1621.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Skewed Business Cycles

Author

Listed:
  • Nicholas Bloom

    (Stanford University)

  • Fatih Guvenen

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Sergio Salgado

    (University of Minnesota)

Abstract

This paper studies how the distribution of the growth rate of firm-level variables (sales, profit, inventories, and employment) changes over the business cycle. Using a panel of Compustat firms from 1964 to 2013 we find that, in addition to the well-documented counter cyclicality in dispersion, the third moment---skewness---is strongly pro cyclical. This happens because the distribution of negative growth rates expands during recessions while the distribution of positive growth rates changes little. In fact, this pattern---of lower tail greatly expanding during recessions---is also the main driver behind the counter cyclicality of dispersion. These results are robust to different selection criteria, across firm size categories, and across industries. We also analyze the distribution of macroeconomic outcomes such as GDP growth and stock returns using a panel of developed and developing countries. Here we also find evidence of declining skewness during periods of low economic activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Bloom & Fatih Guvenen & Sergio Salgado, 2016. "Skewed Business Cycles," 2016 Meeting Papers 1621, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed016:1621
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2016/paper_1621.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. N. Bloom., 2016. "Fluctuations in uncertainty," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    2. Kozeniauskas, Nicholas & Orlik, Anna & Veldkamp, Laura, 2018. "What are uncertainty shocks?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 1-15.
    3. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 107-180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Guillermo Ordoñez, 2013. "The Asymmetric Effects of Financial Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(5), pages 844-895.
    5. Julian Kozlowski & Laura Veldkamp & Venky Venkateswaran, 2020. "The Tail That Wags the Economy: Beliefs and Persistent Stagnation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(8), pages 2839-2879.
    6. Distante, Roberta & Petrella, Ivan & Santoro, Emiliano, 2013. "Asymmetry Reversals and the Business Cycle," Economy and Society 151531, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    7. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta†Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2018. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(3), pages 1031-1065, May.
    8. Giorgio Fagiolo & Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini, 2008. "Are output growth-rate distributions fat-tailed? some evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 639-669.
    9. 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.
    10. Xavier Gabaix, 2008. "Variable Rare Disasters: A Tractable Theory of Ten Puzzles in Macro-finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 64-67, May.
    11. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2017. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 937-958, May.
    12. Sichel, Daniel E, 1993. "Business Cycle Asymmetry: A Deeper Look," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 224-236, April.
    13. Mete Kilic & Jessica A. Wachter, 2015. "Risk, Unemployment, and the Stock Market: A Rare-Event-Based Explanation of Labor Market Volatility," NBER Working Papers 21575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Venky Venkateswaran & Laura Veldkamp & Julian Kozlowski, 2015. "The Tail that Wags the Economy: Belief-Driven Business Cycles and Persistent Stagnation," 2015 Meeting Papers 800, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Kontolemis, Zenon G, 1997. "Does Growth Vary over the Business Cycle? Some Evidence from the G7 Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(255), pages 441-460, August.
    16. Jae Sim & Egon Zakrajsek & Simon Gilchrist, 2010. "Uncertainty, Financial Frictions, and Investment Dynamics," 2010 Meeting Papers 1285, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Martin Uribe, 2011. "Risk Matters: The Real Effects of Volatility Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2530-2561, October.
    18. Francois Gourio, 2012. "Disaster Risk and Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2734-2766, October.
    19. Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 823-866.
    20. Cristina Arellano & Yan Bai & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2019. "Financial Frictions and Fluctuations in Volatility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(5), pages 2049-2103.
    21. Cosmin Ilut & Matthias Kehrig & Martin Schneider, 2018. "Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire: Employment Dynamics with Asymmetric Responses to News," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(5), pages 2011-2071.
    22. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Sorensen, Bent E. & Villegas-Sanchez, Carolina & Volosovych, Vadym & Yesiltas, Sevcan, 2015. "How to construct nationally representative firm level data from the ORBIS global database," CEPR Discussion Papers 10829, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    23. Rocio Madera & Fatih Guvenen & David Domeij & Christopher Busch, 2015. "Higher-Order Income Risk and Social Insurance Policy Over the Business Cycle," 2015 Meeting Papers 712, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    24. Anna Orlik & Laura Veldkamp, 2014. "Understanding Uncertainty Shocks and the Role of Black Swans," NBER Working Papers 20445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Kyle Jurado & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Serena Ng, 2015. "Measuring Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1177-1216, March.
    26. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    27. Jessica A. Wachter, 2013. "Can Time-Varying Risk of Rare Disasters Explain Aggregate Stock Market Volatility?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(3), pages 987-1035, June.
    28. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    29. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    30. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2008. "Idiosyncratic Shocks and the Role of Nonconvexities in Plant and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(2), pages 395-436, March.
    31. Fatih Guvenen & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2014. "The Nature of Countercyclical Income Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 621-660.
    32. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
    33. McQueen, Grant & Thorley, Steven, 1993. "Asymmetric business cycle turning points," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 341-362, June.
    34. Leduc, Sylvain & Liu, Zheng, 2016. "Uncertainty shocks are aggregate demand shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 20-35.
    35. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    36. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2005. "Tests for Skewness, Kurtosis, and Normality for Time Series Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 49-60, January.
    37. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1984. "Are Business Cycles Symmetric?," NBER Working Papers 1444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    38. Rietz, Thomas A., 1988. "The equity risk premium a solution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 117-131, July.
    39. Falk, Barry, 1986. "Further Evidence on the Asymmetric Behavior of Economic Time Series over the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1096-1109, October.
    40. Hartman, Richard, 1972. "The effects of price and cost uncertainty on investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 258-266, October.
    41. Edouard Schaal, 2017. "Uncertainty and Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85(6), pages 1675-1721, November.
    42. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Bent Sorensen & Carolina Villegas-Sanchez & Vadym Volosovych & Sevcan Yesiltas, 2015. "How to Construct Nationally Representative Firm Level Data from the Orbis Global Database: New Facts and Aggregate Implications," NBER Working Papers 21558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    43. David Berger & Ian Dew-Becker & Stefano Giglio, 2020. "Uncertainty Shocks as Second-Moment News Shocks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 40-76.
    44. Kim, Tae-Hwan & White, Halbert, 2004. "On more robust estimation of skewness and kurtosis," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 56-73, March.
    45. Francois Gourio, 2008. "Disasters and Recoveries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 68-73, May.
    46. Robert J. Barro & José F. Ursúa, 2012. "Rare Macroeconomic Disasters," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 83-109, July.
    47. McKay, Alisdair & Reis, Ricardo, 2008. "The brevity and violence of contractions and expansions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 738-751, May.
    48. Neftci, Salih N, 1984. "Are Economic Time Series Asymmetric over the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(2), pages 307-328, April.
    49. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
    50. Campbell R. Harvey & Akhtar Siddique, 2000. "Conditional Skewness in Asset Pricing Tests," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1263-1295, June.
    51. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-384, March.
    52. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-233, March.
    53. Decker, Ryan A. & Haltiwanger, John & Jarmin, Ron S. & Miranda, Javier, 2016. "Where has all the skewness gone? The decline in high-growth (young) firms in the U.S," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 4-23.
    54. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Bayer, Christian, 2013. "‘Wait-and-See’ business cycles?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 704-719.
    55. McKay, Alisdair, 2017. "Time-varying idiosyncratic risk and aggregate consumption dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-14.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cezar, Rafael & Gigout, Timothée & Tripier, Fabien, 2020. "Cross-border investments and uncertainty: Firm-level evidence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    2. Danilo Cascaldi-Garcia & Deepa Dhume Datta & Thiago Revil T. Ferreira & Olesya V. Grishchenko & Mohammad R. Jahan-Parvar & Juan M. Londono & Francesca Loria & Sai Ma & Marius del Giudice Rodriguez & J, 2020. "What is Certain about Uncertainty?," International Finance Discussion Papers 1294, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Fève, Patrick & Sanchez, Pablo Garcia & Moura, Alban & Pierrard, Olivier, 2021. "Costly default and skewed business cycles," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    4. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Elstner, Steffen & Hristov, Atanas, 2017. "Surprise, surprise – Measuring firm-level investment innovations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 107-148.
    5. Gigout, Timothee, 2019. "Firm dynamics in an global and uncertain economy," MPRA Paper 96569, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Oct 2019.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana, 2020. "Uncertainty Shocks and Business Cycle Research," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 118-166, August.
    2. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Born, Benjamin & Elstner, Steffen & Grimme, Christian, 2019. "Time-varying business volatility and the price setting of firms," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 82-99.
    3. N. Bloom., 2016. "Fluctuations in uncertainty," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    4. Isoré, Marlène & Szczerbowicz, Urszula, 2017. "Disaster risk and preference shifts in a New Keynesian model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 97-125.
    5. Cosmin Ilut & Matthias Kehrig & Martin Schneider, 2018. "Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire: Employment Dynamics with Asymmetric Responses to News," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(5), pages 2011-2071.
    6. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Stephen J. Terry, 2020. "Using Disasters to Estimate the Impact of Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 27167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Mehkari, M. Saif, 2016. "Uncertainty shocks in a model with mean-variance frontiers and endogenous technology choices," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 71-98.
    8. Angus Moore, 2017. "Measuring Economic Uncertainty and Its Effects," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 93(303), pages 550-575, December.
    9. Lautenbacher, Stefan, 2020. "Subjective Uncertainty, Expectations, and Firm Behavior," MPRA Paper 103516, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Kıvanç Karaman, K. & Yıldırım-Karaman, Seçil, 2019. "How does financial development alter the impact of uncertainty?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 33-42.
    11. McKay, Alisdair, 2017. "Time-varying idiosyncratic risk and aggregate consumption dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-14.
    12. Joëts, Marc & Mignon, Valérie & Razafindrabe, Tovonony, 2017. "Does the volatility of commodity prices reflect macroeconomic uncertainty?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 313-326.
    13. Leduc, Sylvain & Liu, Zheng, 2016. "Uncertainty shocks are aggregate demand shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 20-35.
    14. Bonciani, Dario & Roye, Björn van, 2016. "Uncertainty shocks, banking frictions and economic activity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 200-219.
    15. Bernstein, Joshua & Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2021. "Cyclical net entry and exit," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    16. Domenico Ferraro, 2018. "The Asymmetric Cyclical Behavior of the U.S. Labor Market," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 30, pages 145-162, October.
    17. Chacko George & Florian Kuhn, 2019. "Business Cycle Implications of Capacity Constraints under Demand Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 94-121, April.
    18. Shuhei Takahashi, 2020. "Time-Varying Wage Risk, Incomplete Markets, and Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 195-213, July.
    19. Al-Thaqeb, Saud Asaad & Algharabali, Barrak Ghanim, 2019. "Economic policy uncertainty: A literature review," The Journal of Economic Asymmetries, Elsevier, vol. 20(C).
    20. Lee, Junghoon, 2016. "The impact of idiosyncratic uncertainty when investment opportunities are endogenous," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 105-124.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed016:1621. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Christian Zimmermann (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.