Uncertain Times, uncertain measures
AbstractAre uncertainty shocks an important source of post WWII business cycle fluctuations? The evidence we present in this paper suggests they are. Using both the traditional measure of uncertainty – the stock market volatility index – and a new one - based on the number of New York Times’ articles on uncertainty and economic activity - we demonstrate that these shocks generate short sharp recessions and recoveries. Output, employment, productivity, consumption and investment all decrease in response to an unanticipated rise in uncertainty. Moreover, we find that wide spread changes in the level of uncertainty captured by our new newspaper index can account for between 10 and 25 percent of the short-run variation in these variables.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-352.
Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: 24 Feb 2009
Date of revision:
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Uncertainty shocks; Business cycles;
Other versions of this item:
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
- E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
- C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-03-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2009-03-14 (Business Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2009-03-14 (Macroeconomics)
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