IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/boj/bojwps/wp20e06.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Characteristics of Uncertainty Indices in the Macroeconomy

Author

Listed:
  • Takeshi Shinohara

    (Bank of Japan)

  • Tatsushi Okuda

    (Bank of Japan)

  • Jouchi Nakajima

    (Bank of Japan)

Abstract

In macroeconomics, a variety of uncertainty indices have been proposed to quantitatively assess developments in uncertainty of the macroeconomy. This paper empirically investigates the time series properties of major uncertainty indices and their relationship with macroeconomic variables, using U.S. and Japanese data. Specifically, we analyze: (i) the Macroeconomic Uncertainty Index, (ii) the Economic Surprise Index, (iii) the Volatility Index, and (iv) the Economic Policy Uncertainty (EPU) Index. The empirical analysis for the U.S. shows that, except for EPU, these indices share similar developments and can significantly explain the business cycle fluctuations of investment, durable consumption, and the lending attitude of banks. In contrast, the empirical analysis for Japan reveals significant heterogeneities in the characteristics of the indices. The Macroeconomic Uncertainty Index (i), responds to various events and shows a significant relationship with investment and durable consumption. On the contrary, the Economic Surprise Index (ii), barely reacts to the events and exhibits limited performance in explaining business cycles. The Volatility Index (iii), tends to rise when the financial system is stressed, whereas the Economic Policy Uncertainty Index (iv), is likely to respond to overseas events, and both of these indices can significantly explain business cycle fluctuations of investment and the lending attitudes of banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Takeshi Shinohara & Tatsushi Okuda & Jouchi Nakajima, 2020. "Characteristics of Uncertainty Indices in the Macroeconomy," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 20-E-6, Bank of Japan.
  • Handle: RePEc:boj:bojwps:wp20e06
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.boj.or.jp/en/research/wps_rev/wps_2020/data/wp20e06.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. N. Bloom., 2016. "Fluctuations in uncertainty," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    2. Luigi Guiso & Giuseppe Parigi, 1999. "Investment and Demand Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 185-227.
    3. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
    4. Bekaert, Geert & Hoerova, Marie & Lo Duca, Marco, 2013. "Risk, uncertainty and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 771-788.
    5. Nick Bloom & Stephen Bond & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Uncertainty and Investment Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 391-415.
    6. R?diger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2013. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 217-249, April.
    7. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
    8. Hayne E. Leland, 1968. "Saving and Uncertainty: The Precautionary Demand for Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 465-473.
    9. Jae Sim & Egon Zakrajsek & Simon Gilchrist, 2010. "Uncertainty, Financial Frictions, and Investment Dynamics," 2010 Meeting Papers 1285, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-157, April.
    11. Caldara, Dario & Fuentes-Albero, Cristina & Gilchrist, Simon & Zakrajšek, Egon, 2016. "The macroeconomic impact of financial and uncertainty shocks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 185-207.
    12. Cristina Arellano & Yan Bai & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2019. "Financial Frictions and Fluctuations in Volatility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(5), pages 2049-2103.
    13. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis, 2016. "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1593-1636.
    14. Laurent Ferrara & Stéphane Lhuissier & Fabien Tripier, 2018. "Uncertainty Fluctuations: Measures, Effects and Macroeconomic Policy Challenges," Financial and Monetary Policy Studies, in: Laurent Ferrara & Ignacio Hernando & Daniela Marconi (ed.), International Macroeconomics in the Wake of the Global Financial Crisis, pages 159-181, Springer.
    15. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    16. Arbatli Saxegaard, Elif C. & Davis, Steven J. & Ito, Arata & Miake, Naoko, 2022. "Policy uncertainty in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    17. Soojin Jo & Rodrigo Sekkel, 2019. "Macroeconomic Uncertainty Through the Lens of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 436-446, July.
    18. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    19. Meinen, Philipp & Roehe, Oke, 2017. "On measuring uncertainty and its impact on investment: Cross-country evidence from the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 161-179.
    20. Danilo Cascaldi-Garcia & Deepa Dhume Datta & Thiago Revil T. Ferreira & Olesya V. Grishchenko & Mohammad R. Jahan-Parvar & Juan M. Londono & Francesca Loria & Sai Ma & Marius del Giudice Rodriguez & J, 2020. "What is Certain about Uncertainty?," International Finance Discussion Papers 1294, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    21. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
    22. Scotti, Chiara, 2016. "Surprise and uncertainty indexes: Real-time aggregation of real-activity macro-surprises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-19.
    23. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis & Stephen J. Terry, 2020. "COVID-Induced Economic Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 26983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2014. "Risk Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 27-65, January.
    25. Hartman, Richard, 1972. "The effects of price and cost uncertainty on investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 258-266, October.
    26. Sydney C. Ludvigson & Sai Ma & Serena Ng, 2020. "COVID-19 and The Macroeconomic Effects of Costly Disasters," NBER Working Papers 26987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
    28. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-233, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Honda, Tomohito & Uesugi, Iichiro, 2021. "COVID-19 and Precautionary Corporate Cash Holdings: Evidence from Japan," RCESR Discussion Paper Series DP21-2, Research Center for Economic and Social Risks, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Cosmas Dery & Apostolos Serletis, 2021. "Disentangling the Effects of Uncertainty, Monetary Policy and Leverage Shocks on the Economy," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 83(5), pages 1029-1065, October.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana, 2020. "Uncertainty Shocks and Business Cycle Research," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 37, pages 118-166, August.
    2. N. Bloom., 2016. "Fluctuations in uncertainty," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    3. Josué Diwambuena & Jean-Paul K. Tsasa, 2021. "The Real Effects of Uncertainty Shocks: New Evidence from Linear and Nonlinear SVAR Models," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS87, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    4. Morikawa, Masayuki, 2019. "Uncertainty over production forecasts: An empirical analysis using monthly quantitative survey data," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 163-179.
    5. Meinen, Philipp & Roehe, Oke, 2017. "On measuring uncertainty and its impact on investment: Cross-country evidence from the euro area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 161-179.
    6. Nina Biljanovska & Francesco Grigoli & Martina Hengge, 2021. "Fear thy neighbor: Spillovers from economic policy uncertainty," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 409-438, May.
    7. Gabriel P. Mathy, 2020. "How much did uncertainty shocks matter in the Great Depression?," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 14(2), pages 283-323, May.
    8. Tosapol Apaitan & Pongsak Luangaram & Pym Manopimoke, 2022. "Uncertainty in an emerging market economy: evidence from Thailand," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 933-989, March.
    9. Dibiasi, Andreas & Abberger, Klaus & Siegenthaler, Michael & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2018. "The effects of policy uncertainty on investment: Evidence from the unexpected acceptance of a far-reaching referendum in Switzerland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 38-67.
    10. Bańbura, Marta & Albani, Maria & Ambrocio, Gene & Bursian, Dirk & Buss, Ginters & de Winter, Jasper & Gavura, Miroslav & Giordano, Claire & Júlio, Paulo & Le Roux, Julien & Lozej, Matija & Malthe-Thag, 2018. "Business investment in EU countries," Occasional Paper Series 215, European Central Bank.
    11. Laurent Ferrara & Stéphane Lhuissier & Fabien Tripier, 2018. "Uncertainty Fluctuations: Measures, Effects and Macroeconomic Policy Challenges," Financial and Monetary Policy Studies, in: Laurent Ferrara & Ignacio Hernando & Daniela Marconi (ed.), International Macroeconomics in the Wake of the Global Financial Crisis, pages 159-181, Springer.
    12. Drobetz, Wolfgang & El Ghoul, Sadok & Guedhami, Omrane & Janzen, Malte, 2018. "Policy uncertainty, investment, and the cost of capital," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 28-45.
    13. Andrea Carriero & Alessio Volpicella, 2022. "Generalizing the Max Share Identification to multiple shocks identification: an Application to Uncertainty," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0322, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
    14. Panagiotidis, Theodore & Printzis, Panagiotis, 2020. "What is the investment loss due to uncertainty?," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 45(C).
    15. Tarek A Hassan & Stephan Hollander & Laurence van Lent & Ahmed Tahoun, 2019. "Firm-Level Political Risk: Measurement and Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(4), pages 2135-2202.
    16. Himounet, Nicolas, 2022. "Searching the nature of uncertainty: Macroeconomic and financial risks VS geopolitical and pandemic risks," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 1-31.
    17. Hashem Pesaran & Ambrogio Cesa-Bianchi & Alessandro Rebucci, 2014. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: A Global Perspective," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1407, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    18. Daniel Dejuán & Corinna Ghirelli, 2018. "Policy uncertainty and investment in Spain," Working Papers 1848, Banco de España.
    19. Dario Caldara & Chiara Scotti & Molin Zhong, 2021. "Macroeconomic and Financial Risks: A Tale of Mean and Volatility," International Finance Discussion Papers 1326, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    20. Favara, Giovanni & Gao, Janet & Giannetti, Mariassunta, 2021. "Uncertainty, access to debt, and firm precautionary behavior," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 436-453.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uncertainty; Business cycle;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boj:bojwps:wp20e06. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bojgvjp.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Bank of Japan (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/bojgvjp.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.