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Measuring economic and economic policy uncertainty, and their macroeconomic effects: the case of Spain


  • Corinna Ghirelli

    (Banco de España)

  • María Gil

    (Banco de España)

  • Javier J. Pérez

    (Banco de España)

  • Alberto Urtasun

    (Banco de España)


We provide additional evidence on the relationship between uncertainty and economic activity. For this purpose, we gather and construct a wide range of proxy indicators of economic and economic policy uncertainty from Spain. We distinguish between the relative merits of different types of measures based on: (i) the volatility of financial markets; (ii) economic analysts’ disagreement; (iii) economic policy uncertainty. We show that the first and the third block of measures are the most relevant to grasp the negative effects of unexpected changes in uncertainty on aggregate economic developments, as measured by real GDP. In addition, we find that economic policy uncertainty and financial uncertainty shocks produce visible negative effects on private consumption. The negative responses on capital goods investments are initially bigger in magnitude but vanish more quickly.

Suggested Citation

  • Corinna Ghirelli & María Gil & Javier J. Pérez & Alberto Urtasun, 2019. "Measuring economic and economic policy uncertainty, and their macroeconomic effects: the case of Spain," Working Papers 1905, Banco de España.
  • Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:1905

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    Cited by:

    1. Marta Martínez-Matute & Alberto Urtasun, 2022. "Uncertainty and firms’ labour decisions. Evidence from European countries," Journal of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 220-241, December.
    2. Petar Soric & Oscar Claveria, 2021. ""Employment uncertainty a year after the irruption of the covid-19 pandemic"," IREA Working Papers 202112, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2021.
    3. Juan de Lucio & Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti, 2021. "New dimensions of regulatory complexity and their economic cost. An analysis using text mining," Working Papers 2107, Banco de España.
    4. Dirección General de Economía y Estadística, 2020. "La economía española en 2019," Occasional Papers 2011, Banco de España.
    5. Ghirelli, Corinna & Pérez, Javier J. & Urtasun, Alberto, 2021. "The spillover effects of economic policy uncertainty in Latin America on the Spanish economy," Latin American Journal of Central Banking (previously Monetaria), Elsevier, vol. 2(2).
    6. Niels Gillmann & Ostap Okhrin, 2023. "Adaptive local VAR for dynamic economic policy uncertainty spillover," Papers 2302.02808,
    7. Nicoletta Pashourtidou, 2022. "Survey-derived proxies for uncertainty: the case of Cyprus," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 16(2), pages 27-56, December.
    8. Śmiech, Sławomir & Papież, Monika & Shahzad, Syed Jawad Hussain, 2020. "Spillover among financial, industrial and consumer uncertainties. The case of EU member states," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    9. Directorate General Economics, Statistics and Research, 2020. "The Spanish economy in 2019," Occasional Papers 2011, Banco de España.
    10. Charemza, Wojciech & Makarova, Svetlana & Rybiński, Krzysztof, 2022. "Economic uncertainty and natural language processing; The case of Russia," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 546-562.
    11. de Lucio, Juan & Mora-Sanguinetti, Juan S., 2022. "Drafting “better regulation”: The economic cost of regulatory complexity," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 163-183.
    12. Hong, Yanran & Xu, Pengfei & Wang, Lu & Pan, Zhigang, 2022. "Relationship between the news-based categorical economic policy uncertainty and US GDP: A mixed-frequency Granger-causality analysis," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(C).
    13. Antonio Cabrales & Manu García & David Ramos Muñoz & Angel Sánchez, 2022. "The Interactions of Social Norms about Climate Change: Science, Institutions and Economics," CESifo Working Paper Series 9905, CESifo.
    14. Gu, Bingmei & Liu, Jiaguo, 2022. "Determinants of dry bulk shipping freight rates: Considering Chinese manufacturing industry and economic policy uncertainty," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 66-77.
    15. Songping Zhu & Gaofeng Yu, 2022. "The Impact of Economic Policy Uncertainty on Industrial Output: The Regulatory Role of Technological Progress," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(16), pages 1-18, August.
    16. Ömer YALÇINKAYA & Ali Kemal ÇELİK, 2021. "The Impact of Global Uncertainties on Economic Growth: Evidence from the US Economy (1996: Q1-2018: Q4)," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(2), pages 35-54, June.

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    More about this item


    economic uncertainty; economic policy uncertainty; impact of uncertainty shocks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles

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