A disaggregate characterisation of recessions

Aikaterini Karadimitropoulou, Miguel Leon-Ledesma, Fabrizio Coricelli

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

26 Downloads (Pure)


The Great Recession has inspired renewed interest in analyzing the behaviour of the economy during recession episodes, and how these temporary events can shape the productive structure of the economy for long periods. Most of the existing literature focuses on recessions at the aggregate level. We provide evidence on the behavior of a large set of developed and emerging markets at the disaggregate level around recession dates. We analyze sectoral value added (VA), employment, productivity, concentration, and structural change, and whether patterns arise in a systematic way. We unveil a set of regularities, grouped into 12 stylized facts, about the behaviour of these variables for both sets of countries and depending on the productivity level and the level of external financial dependence of industries. We also distinguish financial from normal recessions. We find that recessions tend to be more industry specific events in emerging markets and economy-wide phenomena in developed economies. Moreover, the amplitude of the cycle for VA and productivity growth is larger for emerging markets. The opposite is generally true for employment growth. Also, industries with high dependence on external finance generally face higher contractions in VA growth the year of the recession, and those contractions are higher in the case of financial than in the case of normal recessions. Finally, concentration of both VA and employment is higher among emerging markets, and especially when looking at employment shares.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCanterbury, UK
PublisherUniversity of Kent School of Economics Discussion Papers
Number of pages55
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Cite this