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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. Malkiel, Burton & Campbell, John & Lettau, Martin & Xu, Yexiao, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Scholarly Articles 3128707, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Bils, Mark & Chang, Yongsung, 2000. "Understanding how price responds to costs and production," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 33-77, June.
  3. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1991. "Quality Ladders and Product Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 557-86, May.
  4. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2001. "Aggregate Productivity Growth. Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 303-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stephen Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded Versus Privately Held Firms," Working Papers 06-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-51, March.
  7. CASTRO, Rui & CLEMENTI, Gian Luca & MACDONALD, Glenn, 2009. "Legal Institutions, Sectoral Heterogeneity, and Economic Development," Cahiers de recherche 2009-08, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  8. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  9. repec:ste:nystbu:05-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Michelacci, Claudio & Schivardi, Fabiano, 2008. "Does Idiosyncratic Business Risk Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6910, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R Troske & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Technology and Jobs: Secular Changes and Cyclical Dynamics," Working Papers 96-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. 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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