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Aggregate fluctuations and the network structure of intersectoral trade

This paper analyzes the flow of intermediate inputs across sectors by adopting a network perspective on sectoral interactions. I apply these tools to show how fluctuations in aggregate economic activity can be obtained from independent shocks to individual sectors. First, I characterize the network structure of input trade in the U.S. On the demand side, a typical sector relies on a small number of key inputs and sectors are homogeneous in this respect. However, in their role as input-suppliers sectors do differ: many specialized input suppliers coexist alongside general purpose sectors functioning as hubs to the economy. I then develop a model of intersectoral linkages that can reproduce these connectivity features. In a standard multisector setup, I use this model to provide analytical expressions linking aggregate volatility to the network structure of input trade. I show that the presence of sectoral hubs - by coupling production decisions across sectors - leads to fluctuations in aggregates.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 1206.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision: Oct 2010
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1206
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 733-772, 05.
  2. Xavier Gabaix & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2003. "The Evolution of City Size Distributions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  3. Horvath, Michael, 2000. "Sectoral shocks and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 69-106, February.
  4. Norrbin, Stefan C. & Schlagenhauf, Don E., 1990. "Sources of output fluctuations in the United States during the inter-war and post-war years," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 523-551, October.
  5. Shea, John S, 2002. "Complementarities and Comovements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 412-33, May.
  6. Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John, 1990. "Inventories and the Propagation of Sectoral Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 170-90, March.
  7. James E. Rauch, 1996. "Networks versus Markets in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 5617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Scheinkman, Jose A & Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Self-Organized Criticality and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 417-21, May.
  9. Timothy G. Conley & Bill Dupor, 2003. "A Spatial Analysis of Sectoral Complementarity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 311-352, April.
  10. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1986. "Micro Shocks and Aggregate Risks," Working Papers 86-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  11. Peter Bak & Kan Chen & Jose Scheinkman & Michael Woodford, 1992. "Aggregate Fluctuations from Independent Sectoral Shocks: Self-Organized Criticality in a Model of Production and Inventory Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 4241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Szyld, Daniel B, 1985. "Conditions for the Existence of a Balanced Growth Solution for the Leontief Dynamic Input-Output Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1411-19, November.
  13. Nirei, Makoto, 2006. "Threshold behavior and aggregate fluctuation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 309-322, March.
  14. Michael Horvath, 1998. "Cyclicality and Sectoral Linkages: Aggregate Fluctuations from Independent Sectoral Shocks," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(4), pages 781-808, October.
  15. Dupor, Bill, 1999. "Aggregation and irrelevance in multi-sector models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 391-409, April.
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