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Great moderation at the firm level? Unconditional versus conditional output volatility

Author

Listed:
  • Buch, Claudia M.
  • Döpke, Jörg
  • Stahn, Kerstin

Abstract

Aggregated output in industrialized countries has become less volatile over the past decades. Whether this ?Great Moderation? can be found in firm level data as well remains disputed. We study the evolution of firm level output volatility using a balanced panel dataset on German firms that covers 35 years (1971-2005) and about 1,500 firms per year. In contrast to earlier work using firm level data, we use the multifactor residual model proposed by Pesaran (2006) to isolate the idiosyncratic component of firms? real sales growth from macroeconomic developments. Our paper has three main findings. First, time trends in unconditional firm level and aggregated output volatility in Germany are similar. There has been a long-run downward trend, which was interrupted by the unification period. Second, the conditional, idiosyncratic firm level volatility does not exhibit a downward trend. If anything idiosyncratic volatility has been on a slow trend rise. Third, we find evidence of a positive link between growth and volatility at the firm level.

Suggested Citation

  • Buch, Claudia M. & Döpke, Jörg & Stahn, Kerstin, 2008. "Great moderation at the firm level? Unconditional versus conditional output volatility," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2008,13, Deutsche Bundesbank.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:7363
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tyrowicz, Joanna, 2009. "When Eastern Labour Markets Enter Western Europe CEECs. Labour Market Institutions upon Euro Zone Accession," MPRA Paper 15045, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Balázs Égert & Douglas Sutherland, 2014. "The Nature of Financial and Real Business Cycles: The Great Moderation and Banking Sector Pro-Cyclicality," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 61(1), pages 98-117, February.
    3. Che, Natasha Xingyuan, 2009. "The great dissolution: organization capital and diverging volatility puzzle," MPRA Paper 13701, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    firm level volatility; Great Moderation; multifactor residual model;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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