I would like to assess the resilience of some sectors in Europe but I honestly lack data, and it seemed to me the simplest solution to be able to implement univariate (arima etc) and multivariate (mainly VAR with some variables like inflation) forecasts using Stoxx datas.

Is this a terrible idea ?


  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by resilience? $\endgroup$ – Bob Jansen Aug 5 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ The ability to face crisis, covid19 one in this case. $\endgroup$ – Jur Aug 5 at 12:34

This is not a terrible idea, however it might be a difficult idea to implement. You could do this although you will want to think carefully about your dependent variable. In particular, you might want to read up on business cycle effects and various forms of economic efficiency. You also should consider that creative destruction may sow the seeds for later economic growth.

We know firms vary by their degree of operating leverage (marginal effect of sales on profits) which causes them to have different sensitivities to economic growth or contraction. This tends to relate to their fixed costs. That means that in a crisis, some firms will see profits hurt by being unable to cut fixed costs quickly and inventories (which require storage) accumulating; other firms will be able to reduce their costs more quickly and may not have inventory accumulate. Software producers, for example, need not accumulate more inventory because applications are not being bought.

We also know from studies of economic efficiency that efficiency and specialization is often accompanied by fragility. Allocative efficiency studies look at industry performance while X-efficiency studies consider firms and plants/offices within an industry. Both angles reveal that efficiency improves by quickly reallocating capital in response to market changes.

However, in a downturn this reallocation may be difficult at a firm level. Thus we may see difficulties at firms in a particular industry. Durnev, Mørck, and Yeung (2004) note that efficient firms have less "fat to trim" when subjected to a shock. In an extreme case, this may result in firms failing and new industries being born. This dynamic efficiency is healthy and increases economic growth. Probably the best source on that "creative destruction" would be Davis, Haltiwanger, and Schuh (1996).

If you want an overview of these ideas above, they are discussed in Chapters 5 and 13 of A Quantitative Primer on Investments with $R$.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for your answer and the literature you provided. I wasn't sure which way to go and that's a big help to me, now I have to think better about how to proceed. I probably need more data, so I'm thinking of using the FRED time series and then building on it to apply a reasoning about European industries and sectors. $\endgroup$ – Jur Aug 7 at 10:17

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