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The Finance Uncertainty Multiplier

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  • Iván Alfaro
  • Nicholas Bloom
  • Xiaoji Lin

Abstract

We show how real and financial frictions amplify, prolong, and propagate the negative impact of uncertainty shocks. We use a novel instrumentation strategy to address endogeneity in estimating the impact of uncertainty by exploiting differential firm exposure to exchange rate, policy, and energy price volatility. We show that financially constrained firms cut investment more than unconstrained firms following an uncertainty shock. We then build a general equilibrium heterogeneous firms model with real and financial frictions, finding that financial frictions (i) amplify uncertainty shocks by doubling their impact on output; (ii) increase persistence by doubling the duration of the drop; and (iii) propagate uncertainty shocks by spreading their impact onto financial variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Iván Alfaro & Nicholas Bloom & Xiaoji Lin, 2024. "The Finance Uncertainty Multiplier," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 132(2), pages 577-615.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/726230
    DOI: 10.1086/726230
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    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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