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Measuring Economic Uncertainty and Its Effects

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  • Angus Moore

Abstract

I construct a monthly index of economic uncertainty for Australia. Economic uncertainty rose to historically high levels during the financial crisis and remained elevated until late 2013. The index is: higher around recessions, elections, monetary policy surprises and some major events; tends to increase faster than it decreases; and is driven by both domestic and foreign factors. I use the index to assess how uncertainty affects the Australian economy. Consistent with the ‘real options’ channel of uncertainty, I find that it reduces investment and employment growth. Similarly, uncertainty raises the household saving ratio, consistent with the ‘precautionary savings’ channel.

Suggested Citation

  • Angus Moore, 2017. "Measuring Economic Uncertainty and Its Effects," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 93(303), pages 550-575, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:93:y:2017:i:303:p:550-575
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-4932.12356
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    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:137:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-017-1609-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Castelnuovo, Efrem & Tran, Trung Duc, 2017. "Google It Up! A Google Trends-based Uncertainty index for the United States and Australia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 149-153.
    3. James Bishop & Linus Gustafsson & Michael Plumb, 2016. "Jobs or Hours? Cyclical Labour Market Adjustment in Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2016-06, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    4. Jirasavetakul, La-Bhus Fah & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2018. "Economic Policy Uncertainty in Turkey," CEPR Discussion Papers 13352, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Angelini, Giovanni & Costantini, Mauro & Easaw, Joshy, 2018. "Uncertainty and spillover effects across the Euro area," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2018/15, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    6. Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja), 2016. "On Measuring Uncertainty: Snakes and Ladders," IZA Discussion Papers 10244, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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