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Assessing uncertainty in Europe and the US: is there a common uncertainty factor?

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  • Sauter, Oliver

Abstract

This paper is an empirical investigation of uncertainty in the Euro Zone as well as the US. It conducts a factor analysis of uncertainty measures starting in 2001 until the end of 2011. For this purpose I use survey-based data provided by the ECB and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia as well as the stock market indices VSTOXX and VIX, both measures of implied volatility of stock market movements. Each measure shows an increase in uncertainty during the last years marked by the financial turmoil. Given the rise in uncertainty, the question arises whether this uncertainty is driven by the same underlying forces. For the Euro Zone, I show that uncertainty can be separated into driving forces of short and long-term uncertainty. In the US there is a sharp distinction between uncertainty that drives stock market and “real” variables on the one hand and inflation (short and long-term) on the other hand. Combing both data sets, factor analysis delivers (1) an international stock market factor, (2) a common European uncertainty factor and (3) an US-inflation uncertainty factor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 38031.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38031

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Keywords: monetary policy; uncertainty; survey forecast; forecast disagreement; factor analysis;

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  1. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Alexandros Kontonikas, 2006. "The Euro and Inflation Uncertainty in the European Monetary Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 1842, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bekaert, Geert & Hoerova, Marie & Lo Duca, Marco, 2010. "Risk, Uncertainty and Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 8154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Carlos Bowles & Roberta Friz & Veronique Genre & Geoff Kenny & Aidan Meyler & Tuomas Rautanen, 2007. "The ECB survey of professional forecasters (SPF) – A review after eight years’ experience," Occasional Paper Series 59, European Central Bank.
  4. Söderlind, Paul, 2000. "Inflation Forecast Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 2499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Gabriele Galati & Steven Poelhekke & Chen Zhou, 2009. "Did the crisis affect inflation expectations?," DNB Working Papers 222, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  6. Felix Geiger & Oliver Sauter & Kai D. Schmid, 2009. "The Camp View of Inflation Forecasts," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 320/2009, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  7. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Luca Onorante & Paolo Paesani, 2009. "Inflation and Inflation Uncertainty in the Euro Area," CESifo Working Paper Series 2720, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Sylvain Leduc & Glenn D. Rudebusch & Justin Weidner, 2009. "Disagreement about the inflation outlook," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue oct5.
  9. Christopher J. Neely, 2005. "Using implied volatility to measure uncertainty about interest rates," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 407-425.
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