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Economic uncertainty and the influence of monetary policy


  • Aastveit, Knut Are
  • Natvik, Gisle James
  • Sola, Sergio


This paper explores if economic uncertainty alters the macroeconomic influence of monetary policy. We use several measures of U.S. economic uncertainty, and estimate their interaction with monetary policy shocks as identified through structural vector autoregressions. We find that U.S. monetary policy shocks affect economic activity less when uncertainty is high, in line with “real-option” effects from theory. Holding uncertainty constant, the effect on investment is approximately halved when uncertainty is in its top instead of its bottom decile.

Suggested Citation

  • Aastveit, Knut Are & Natvik, Gisle James & Sola, Sergio, 2017. "Economic uncertainty and the influence of monetary policy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 50-67.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jimfin:v:76:y:2017:i:c:p:50-67
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jimonfin.2017.05.003

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    Cited by:

    1. Falck, Elisabeth & Hoffmann, Mathias & Hürtgen, Patrick, 2017. "Disagreement and monetary policy," Discussion Papers 29/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    2. Efrem Castelnuovo & Guay Lim, 2019. "What Do We Know About the Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Policy? A Brief Survey of the Literature on Fiscal Multipliers," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 52(1), pages 78-93, March.
    3. Jiang, Yonghong & He, Luli & Meng, Juan & Nie, He, 2019. "Nonlinear impact of economic policy uncertainty shocks on credit scale: Evidence from China," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 521(C), pages 626-634.
    4. Kwangyong Park, 2019. "Uncertainty, Attention Allocation and Monetary Policy Asymmetry," Working Papers 2019-5, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    5. Mei, Dexiang & Zeng, Qing & Cao, Xiang & Diao, Xiaohua, 2019. "Uncertainty and oil volatility: New evidence," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 525(C), pages 155-163.
    6. Sangyup Choi & Chansik Yoon, 2019. "Uncertainty, Financial Markets, and Monetary Policy over the Last Century," Working papers 2019rwp-142, Yonsei University, Yonsei Economics Research Institute.
    7. Wu, Jing Cynthia & Zhang, Ji, 2019. "A shadow rate New Keynesian model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 1-1.
    8. Caggiano, Giovanni & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Pellegrino, Giovanni, 2017. "Estimating the real effects of uncertainty shocks at the Zero Lower Bound," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 257-272.
    9. Castelnuovo, Efrem & Pellegrino, Giovanni, 2018. "Uncertainty-dependent effects of monetary policy shocks: A new-Keynesian interpretation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 277-296.
    10. Goodness C. Aye & Matthew W. Clance & Rangan Gupta, 2019. "The effectiveness of monetary and fiscal policy shocks on U.S. inequality: the role of uncertainty," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 283-295, January.
    11. Laurent FERRARA & Stéphane LHUISSIER & Fabien TRIPIER, 2018. "Uncertainty and macroeconomics: transmission channels and policy implications," Rue de la Banque, Banque de France, issue 61, April.
    12. Jamie L. Cross & Chenghan Hou & Aubrey Poon, 2018. "International Transmission of Macroeconomic Uncertainty in Small Open Economies: An Empirical Approach," Working Papers No 12/2018, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
    13. Hsieh, Hui-Ching & Boarelli, Sofia & Vu, Thi Huyen Chi, 2019. "The effects of economic policy uncertainty on outward foreign direct investment," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 377-392.
    14. Pei-Tha Gan, 2019. "Economic uncertainty, precautionary motive and the augmented form of money demand function," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 397-423, December.
    15. Lopez-Buenache, German, 2019. "The evolution of monetary policy effectiveness under macroeconomic instability," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 221-233.
    16. Pedro Costa Ferreira & Raíra Marotta B. Vieira & Felipi Bruno Silva & Ingrid C. L. Oliveira, 2019. "Measuring Brazilian Economic Uncertainty," Journal of Business Cycle Research, Springer;Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys (CIRET), vol. 15(1), pages 25-40, April.
    17. Vania Esady, 2019. "Real and Nominal Effects of Monetary Shocks under Time-Varying Disagreement," CESifo Working Paper Series 7956, CESifo Group Munich.
    18. Yao, Can-Zhong & Sun, Bo-Yi, 2018. "The study on the tail dependence structure between the economic policy uncertainty and several financial markets," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 245-265.
    19. Herwartz, Helmut & Rohloff, Hannes, 2018. "Less bang for the buck? Assessing the role of inflation uncertainty for U.S. monetary policy transmission in a data rich environment," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 358, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    20. Ji, Qiang & Liu, Bing-Yue & Nehler, Henrik & Uddin, Gazi Salah, 2018. "Uncertainties and extreme risk spillover in the energy markets: A time-varying copula-based CoVaR approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 115-126.
    21. Efrem Castelnuovo & Guay Lim & Giovanni Pellegrino, 2018. "Macroeconomic Policies in a Low Interest Rate Environment: Back to Keynes?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 51(1), pages 70-86, March.
    22. Efrem Castelnuovo & Giovanni Pellegrino, 2017. "Uncertainty-dependent Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks: A New Keynesian Interpretation," CESifo Working Paper Series 6821, CESifo Group Munich.
    23. Giovanni Caggiano & Efrem Castelnuovo & Giovanni Pellegrino, 2017. "Estimating the Real Effects of Uncertainty Shocks at the Zero Lower Bound," CESifo Working Paper Series 6622, CESifo Group Munich.
    24. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Menelaos Karanasos & Stavroula Yfanti, 2019. "Macro-Financial Linkages in the High-Frequency Domain: The Effects of Uncertainty on Realized Volatility," CESifo Working Paper Series 8000, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item


    Uncertainty; Monetary policy; Structural VAR;

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy


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