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Prof. Xavier Gabaix's research on economic diversification

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Excerpt from the Economist -- "A 2011 paper by Xavier Gabaix of New York University explains how diversification works when firms are independent and their sizes follow a regular “bell-shaped” distribution. Imagine an economy where one firm produces everything: its volatility of earnings determines volatility in GDP. But as the number of firms grows GDP volatility shrinks, because firms’ shocks cancel out. With 100 firms, volatility falls to a tenth of the level in a one-firm economy; with 1m firms, it falls to a thousandth. Since there are more firms than this, company-specific shocks disappear."

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