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Cross–Sectoral Variation in Firm–Level Idiosyncratic Risk

  • Rui Castro

    ()

    (Department of Economics and CIREQ, Université de Montréal)

  • Gian Luca Clementi

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Stern School of Business, New York University and RCEA)

  • Yoonsoo Lee

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Sogang University and Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

We estimate firm–level idiosyncratic risk in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Our proxy for risk is the volatility of the portion of growth in sales or TFP which is not explained by either industry– or economy–wide factors, or firm characteristics systematically associated with growth itself. We find that idiosyncratic risk accounts for about 90% of the overall uncertainty faced by firms. The extent of cross–sectoral variation in idiosyncratic risk is remarkable. Firms in the most volatile sector are subject to at least three times as much uncertainty as firms in the least volatile. Our evidence indicates that idiosyncratic risk is higher in industries where the extent of creative destruction is likely to be greater.

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Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 28_10.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:28_10
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  1. 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.
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  8. 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.
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  11. Aubhik Khan & Julia Thomas, 2007. "Idiosyncratic Shocks and the Role of Nonconvexities in Plant and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 12845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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  15. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
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  17. Evans, David S., 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Growth, Size, and Age: Estimates for 100 Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 86-33, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  29. repec:ste:nystbu:05-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Rui Castro & Gian Luca Clementi & Glenn MacDonald, 2004. "Investor Protection, Optimal Incentives, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1131-1175.
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