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Measuring Uncertainty

Author

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  • Kyle Jurado
  • Sydney C. Ludvigson
  • Serena Ng

Abstract

This paper exploits a data rich environment to provide direct econometric estimates of time-varying macroeconomic uncertainty. Our estimates display significant independent variations from popular uncertainty proxies, suggesting that much of the variation in the proxies is not driven by uncertainty. Quantitatively important uncertainty episodes appear far more infrequently than indicated by popular uncertainty proxies, but when they do occur, they are larger, more persistent, and are more correlated with real activity. Our estimates provide a benchmark to evaluate theories for which uncertainty shocks play a role in business cycles. (JEL C53, D81, E32, G12, G35, L25)

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle Jurado & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Serena Ng, 2015. "Measuring Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1177-1216, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:3:p:1177-1216
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20131193
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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