The Role of Output Composition in the Stabilization of U.S. Output Growth
US output growth became much more stable over the past half-century. This paper assesses the role of changes in the composition of output | the increasing importance of stable sectors and diminishing importance of volatile sectors | in this stabilization. Our decomposition of output growth volatility by one-digit industry indicates that a bit less than half of the drop in volatility between the pre- and post-1982 periods is accounted for by compositional shifts, most notably the decline of manufacturing.
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