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Narrative-Driven Fluctuations in Sentiment: Evidence Linking Traditional and Social Media

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  • Alistair Macaulay
  • Wenting Song

Abstract

This paper studies the role of narratives for macroeconomic fluctuations. We micro-found narratives as directed acyclic graphs and show how exposure to different narratives can affect expectations in an otherwise standard macroeconomic model. We capture such competing narratives in news media’s reports on a US yield curve inversion by using techniques in natural language processing. Linking these media narratives to social media data, we show that exposure to a recessionary narrative is associated with a more pessimistic sentiment, while exposure to a nonrecessionary narrative implies no such change in sentiment. In a model with financial frictions, narrative-driven beliefs create a trade-off for quantitative easing: extended periods of quantitative easing make narrative-driven waves of pessimism more frequent, but smaller in magnitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Alistair Macaulay & Wenting Song, 2023. "Narrative-Driven Fluctuations in Sentiment: Evidence Linking Traditional and Social Media," Staff Working Papers 23-23, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:23-23
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    Cited by:

    1. Demgensky, Lisa & Fritsche, Ulrich, 2023. "Narratives on the causes of inflation in Germany: First results of a pilot study," WiSo-HH Working Paper Series 77, University of Hamburg, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences, WISO Research Laboratory.
    2. Kai Gehring & Matteo Grigoletto, 2023. "Analyzing Climate Change Policy Narratives with the Character-Role Narrative Framework," CESifo Working Paper Series 10429, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial markets; Inflation and prices; Monetary policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets

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