IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/obuest/v80y2018i5p951-971.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Uncertainty and the Great Recession

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Born
  • Sebastian Breuer
  • Steffen Elstner

Abstract

Has heightened uncertainty been a major contributor to the Great Recession and the slow recovery in the United States? To answer this question, we identify exogenous changes in six uncertainty proxies and quantify their contributions to GDP growth and the unemployment rate. The answer is no. In total we find that increased macroeconomic and financial uncertainty can explain up to 10% of the drop in GDP at the height of the recession and up to 0.6 percentage points of the increased unemployment rates in 2009 through 2011. Our calculations further suggest that only a minor part of the rise in popular uncertainty measures during the Great Recession was driven by exogenous uncertainty shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Born & Sebastian Breuer & Steffen Elstner, 2018. "Uncertainty and the Great Recession," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 80(5), pages 951-971, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:80:y:2018:i:5:p:951-971
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/obes.12229
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cesa-Bianchi, Ambrogio & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Rebucci, Alessandro, 2014. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: A Global Perspective," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6605, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. repec:fip:fedgin:2016-04-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bekaert, Geert & Hoerova, Marie & Lo Duca, Marco, 2013. "Risk, uncertainty and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 771-788.
    4. R?diger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2013. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 217-249, April.
    5. Caggiano, Giovanni & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Groshenny, Nicolas, 2014. "Uncertainty shocks and unemployment dynamics in U.S. recessions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 78-92.
    6. John H. Rogers & Bo Sun & Lucas F. Husted, 2016. "Measuring Monetary Policy Uncertainty : The Federal Reserve, January 1985-January 2016," IFDP Notes 2016-04-11-2, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Goncalves, Silvia & Kilian, Lutz, 2004. "Bootstrapping autoregressions with conditional heteroskedasticity of unknown form," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 89-120, November.
    8. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Born, Benjamin & Elstner, Steffen & Grimme, Christian, 2019. "Time-varying business volatility and the price setting of firms," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 82-99.
    9. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis, 2016. "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1593-1636.
    10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    11. Kyle Jurado & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Serena Ng, 2015. "Measuring Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1177-1216, March.
    12. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    13. Meinen, Philipp & Roehe, Oke, 2017. "On measuring uncertainty and its impact on investment: Cross-country evidence from the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 161-179.
    14. Haroon Mumtaz & Paolo Surico, 2015. "The Transmission Mechanism In Good And Bad Times," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 1237-1260, November.
    15. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Keith Kuester & Juan Rubio-Ramírez, 2015. "Fiscal Volatility Shocks and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3352-3384, November.
    16. Leduc, Sylvain & Liu, Zheng, 2016. "Uncertainty shocks are aggregate demand shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 20-35.
    17. Lucas F. Husted & John H. Rogers & Bo Sun, 2016. "Measuring Cross Country Monetary Policy Uncertainty," IFDP Notes 2016-11-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    18. repec:mcb:jmoncb:v:45:y:2013:i::p:535-558 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Born, Benjamin & Pfeifer, Johannes, 2014. "Policy risk and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 68-85.
    20. Choi, Sangyup, 2013. "Are the effects of Bloom’s uncertainty shocks robust?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 216-220.
    21. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-1069, June.
    22. Haroon Mumtaz & Francesco Zanetti, 2013. "The Impact of the Volatility of Monetary Policy Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(4), pages 535-558, June.
    23. Ambrogio Cesa-Bianchi & M. Hashem Pesaran & Alessandro Rebucci, 2014. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: A Global Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series 4736, CESifo Group Munich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:cup:macdyn:v:23:y:2019:i:04:p:1442-1470_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Christian Grimme & Marc Stöckli, 2017. "Makroökonomische Unsicherheit in Deutschland," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 70(06), pages 41-50, March.
    3. Amélie Charles & Olivier Darné & Fabien Tripier, 2018. "Uncertainty and the macroeconomy: evidence from an uncertainty composite indicator," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(10), pages 1093-1107, February.
    4. Munechika Katayama & Kwang Hwan Kim, 2018. "Uncertainty Shocks and the Relative Price of Investment Goods," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 30, pages 163-178, October.
    5. Born, Benjamin & Pfeifer, Johannes, 2016. "Uncertainty-driven business cycles: assessing the markup channel," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145608, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Czudaj, Robert L., 2019. "Crude oil futures trading and uncertainty," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 793-811.
    7. Netšunajev, Aleksei & Glass, Katharina, 2017. "Uncertainty and employment dynamics in the euro area and the US," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 48-62.
    8. repec:ces:ifosdt:v:70:y:2017:i:15:p:19-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Meinen, Philipp & Roehe, Oke, 2017. "On measuring uncertainty and its impact on investment: Cross-country evidence from the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 161-179.
    10. Berg, Tim Oliver, 2019. "Business Uncertainty And The Effectiveness Of Fiscal Policy In Germany," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(04), pages 1442-1470, June.
    11. repec:ces:ifofor:v:19:y:2018:i:1:p:46-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. OH, Joonseok, 2019. "The propagation of uncertainty shocks : Rotemberg vs. Calvo," Economics Working Papers ECO 2019/01, European University Institute.
    13. Choi, Sangyup & Loungani, Prakash, 2015. "Uncertainty and unemployment: The effects of aggregate and sectoral channels," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 344-358.
    14. Bańbura, Marta & Albani, Maria & Ambrocio, Gene & Bursian, Dirk & Buss, Ginters & de Winter, Jasper & Gavura, Miroslav & Giordano, Claire & Júlio, Paulo & Le Roux, Julien & Lozej, Matija & Malthe-Thag, 2018. "Business investment in EU countries," Occasional Paper Series 215, European Central Bank.
    15. Bofinger, Peter & Schnabel, Isabel & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Wieland, Volker, 2014. "Mehr Vertrauen in Marktprozesse. Jahresgutachten 2014/15," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201415, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:80:y:2018:i:5:p:951-971. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sfeixuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.