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The value of news for economic developments

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  • Larsen, Vegard H.
  • Thorsrud, Leif A.

Abstract

We decompose the textual data in a Norwegian business newspaper into news topics and investigate their role in predicting and explaining economic fluctuations. Separate full- and out-of-sample experiments show that many topics have predictive power for key economic variables, including asset prices. Unexpected innovations to an aggregated news index, derived as a weighted average of the topics with the highest predictive scores, lead to persistent economic fluctuations, and are especially associated with financial markets, credit and borrowing. Unexpected innovations to asset prices, orthogonal to news shocks and labeled as noise, have only temporary positive effects, in line with economic theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Larsen, Vegard H. & Thorsrud, Leif A., 2019. "The value of news for economic developments," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 210(1), pages 203-218.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:210:y:2019:i:1:p:203-218
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeconom.2018.11.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mueller, Hannes Felix & Rauh, Christopher, 2019. "The Hard Problem of Prediction for Conflict Prevention," CEPR Discussion Papers 13748, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Vegard H. Larsen & Leif Anders Thorsrud & Julia Zhulanova, 2019. "News-driven inflation expectations and information rigidities," Working Papers No 03/2019, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
    3. Vegard H. Larsen & Leif Anders Thorsrud, 2018. "Business cycle narratives," Working Paper 2018/3, Norges Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    News; Latent dirichlet allocation (LDA); Business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • C8 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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