NBER Working Papers by Vasco M. Carvalho

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March 2014Input Diffusion and the Evolution of Production Networks
with Nico Voigtländer: w20025
What determines which inputs are initially considered and eventually adopted in the production of new or improved goods? Why are some inputs much more prominent than others? We model the evolution of input linkages as a process where new producers first search for potentially useful inputs and then decide which ones to adopt. A new product initially draws a set of ‘essential suppliers’. The search stage is then confined to the network neighborhood of the latter, i.e., to the inputs used by the essential suppliers. The adoption decision is driven by a tradeoff between the benefits accruing from input variety and the costs of input adoption. This has important implications for the number of forward linkages that a product (input variety) develops over time. Input diffusion is fostered by net...
August 2012Sources of Comparative Advantage in Polluting Industries
with Fernando Broner, Paula Bustos: w18337
We study the determinants of comparative advantage in polluting industries. We combine data on environmental policy at the country level with data on pollution intensity at the industry level to show that countries with laxer environmental regulation have a comparative advantage in polluting industries. Further, we address the potential problem of reverse causality. We propose an instrument for environmental regulation based on meteorological determinants of pollution dispersion identi…ed by the atmospheric pollution literature. We find that the effect of environmental regulation on the pattern of trade is causal and comparable in magnitude to the effect of physical and human capital.
September 2010The Great Diversification and its Undoing
with Xavier Gabaix: w16424
We investigate the hypothesis that macroeconomic fluctuations are primitively the results of many microeconomic shocks, and show that it has significant explanatory power for the evolution of macroeconomic volatility. We define “fundamental” volatility as the volatility that would arise from an economy made entirely of idiosyncratic microeconomic shocks, occurring primitively at the level of sectors or firms. In its empirical construction, motivated by a simple model, the sales share of different sectors vary over time (in a way we directly measure), while the volatility of those sectors remains constant. We find that fundamental volatility accounts for the swings in macroeconomic volatility in the US and the other major world economies in the past half century. It accounts for the “great ...

Published: Vasco Carvalho & Xavier Gabaix, 2013. "The Great Diversification and Its Undoing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1697-1727, August. citation courtesy of

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