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Identifying Uncertainty Shocks Using the Price of Gold

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  • Michele Piffer
  • Maximilian Podstawski

Abstract

We propose an instrument to identify uncertainty shocks in a proxy structural vector autoregressive model (SVAR). The instrument equals the variations in the price of gold around events associated with unexpected changes in uncertainty. These variations correlate with uncertainty shocks because gold is perceived as a safe haven asset. To control for news‐related effects associated with the events we identify uncertainty and news shocks jointly, developing a set‐identified proxy SVAR. We find that the popular recursive approach underestimates the effects of uncertainty shocks and delivers responses for economic activity and monetary policy that have more in common with news shocks than with uncertainty shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Piffer & Maximilian Podstawski, 2018. "Identifying Uncertainty Shocks Using the Price of Gold," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(616), pages 3266-3284, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:128:y:2018:i:616:p:3266-3284
    DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12545
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • 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
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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