Nicholas A. Bloom: The Great Micro Moderation


Monday, October 16, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:45pm


Allison Dining Room

Nicholas A. BloomWilliam Eberle Professor of Economics, Stanford University.

Nicholas BloomThis paper documents using US administrative data that individual income and firm growth volatility in the United States have both declined by about 1/3 since 1980—a phenomenon that we call the “Great Micro Moderation.” This finding contrasts with the conventional wisdom based on dozens of studies using survey data that find income volatility is rising. We also show this fall in earnings and firm volatility occur together at the micro level, and is correlated over time in the US with the macro “Great Moderation”. Hence, rather than be alarmed at rising earnings and falling firm-level volatility, we argue that both are falling and this is connected to lower macro volatility in the 1990s and 2000s.

About the speaker

Nicholas (Nick) Bloom is the William Eberle Professor of Economics at Stanford University, a Senior Fellow of SIEPR, and the Co-Director of the Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses on management practices and uncertainty. He previously worked at the UK Treasury and McKinsey & Company.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of the Alfred Sloan Fellowship, the Bernacer Prize, the European Investment Bank Prize, the Frisch Medal, the Kauffman Medal and a National Science Foundation Career Award. He has a BA from Cambridge, an MPhil from Oxford, and a PhD from University College London. 

Learn more about Nicholas Bloom's research


See also: Fall 2017