IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Fluctuations in Uncertainty

  • Nicholas Bloom

This review article tries to answer four questions: (i) what are the stylized facts about uncertainty over time; (ii) why does uncertainty vary; (iii) do fluctuations in uncertainty matter; and (iv) did higher uncertainty worsen the Great Recession of 2007-2009? On the first question both macro and micro uncertainty appears to rise sharply in recessions. On the second question the types of exogenous shocks like wars, financial panics and oil price jumps that cause recessions appear to directly increase uncertainty, and uncertainty also appears to endogenously rise further during recessions. On the third question, the evidence suggests uncertainty is damaging for short-run investment and hiring, but there is some evidence it may stimulate longer-run innovation. Finally, in terms of the Great Recession, the large jump in uncertainty in 2008 potentially accounted for about one third of the drop in GDP.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/occasional/op038.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Occasional Papers with number 038.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:cepops:038
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEPOP

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Martin Schneider & Cosmin Ilut, 2011. "Ambiguous Business Cycles," 2011 Meeting Papers 612, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana & Keith Kuester & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez, 2011. "Fiscal volatility shocks and economic activity," Working Papers 11-32, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, revised 05 Jan 2012.
  3. Malkiel, Burton & Campbell, John & Lettau, Martin & Xu, Yexiao, 2001. "Have Individual Stocks Become More Volatile? An Empirical Exploration of Idiosyncratic Risk," Scholarly Articles 3128707, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Kraft, Holger & Schwartz, Eduardo & Weiss, Farina, 2013. "Growth options and firm valuation," SAFE Working Paper Series 6, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
  5. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2012. "Uncertainty shocks in a model of effective demand," Working Papers 12-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  6. Pablo Guerron & Martin Uribe & Juan Rubio-Ramirez & Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde, 2010. "Risk Matters: The Real Effects of Volatility Shocks," 2010 Meeting Papers 281, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Dennis Novy & Alan M. Taylor, 2014. "Trade and Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 19941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Schwert, G William, 1989. " Why Does Stock Market Volatility Change over Time?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(5), pages 1115-53, December.
  9. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen Terry, 2013. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," CEP Discussion Papers dp1195, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link Between Volatility and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. King, Robert G. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1999. "Resuscitating real business cycles," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 927-1007 Elsevier.
  12. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2015. "Trade and Investment under Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Firm Evidence," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 189-222, November.
  13. Eberly, Janice C, 1994. "Adjustment of Consumers' Durables Stocks: Evidence from Automobile Purchases," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 403-36, June.
  14. Laura Veldkamp & Anna Orlik, 2013. "Understanding Uncertainty Shocks," 2013 Meeting Papers 391, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Koren, Miklós & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "Volatility and Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5307, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Stephen Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded Versus Privately Held Firms," Working Papers 06-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  17. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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 217-49, April.
  19. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2006. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 611-633.
  20. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1996. "Optimal Investment with Costly Reversibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 581-593.
  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. Sylvain Leduc & Zheng Liu, 2012. "Uncertainty shocks are aggregate demand shocks," Working Paper Series 2012-10, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  23. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent & Thomas D. Tallarini Jr., 1997. "Robust Permanent Income and Pricing," Levine's Working Paper Archive 596, David K. Levine.
  24. Ulrike Malmendier & Geoffrey Tate, 2005. "CEO Overconfidence and Corporate Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(6), pages 2661-2700, December.
  25. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom, 2013. "Does Uncertainty Reduce Growth? Using Disasters as Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 19475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Bertola, Giuseppe & Guiso, Luigi & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "Uncertainty and Consumer Durables Adjustment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3332, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 5474.
  28. Fatih Guvenen & Serdar Ozkan & Jae Song, 2012. "The nature of countercyclical income risk," Staff Report 476, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  29. John Van Reenen & Nick Bloom & Steve Bond, 2006. "Uncertainty and investment dynamics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2645, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  30. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  31. Baker, Scott R. & Bloom, Nicholas & Davis, Steven J, 2015. "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 10900, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. Matthias Kehrig, 2011. "The Cyclicality of Productivity Dispersion," 2011 Meeting Papers 484, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  33. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
  34. Ravi Bansal & Amir Yaron, 2000. "Risks for the Long Run: A Potential Resolution of Asset Pricing Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 8059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Guiso, Luigi & Parigi, Giuseppe, 1996. "Investment and Demand Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 1497, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  36. Van Nieuwerburgh, Stijn & Veldkamp, Laura, 2006. "Learning asymmetries in real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 753-772, May.
  37. Scotti, Chiara, 2013. "Surprise and uncertainty indexes: real-time aggregation of real-activity macro surprises," International Finance Discussion Papers 1093, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 20 May 2016.
  38. Geert Bekaert & Marie Hoerova & Marco Lo Duca, 2010. "Risk, Uncertainty and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 16397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  39. Leahy, John V & Whited, Toni M, 1996. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 64-83, February.
  40. Pablo N D’Erasmo & Hernan J Moscoso-Boedo, 2011. "Intangibles and Endogenous Firm Volatility over the Business Cycle," Virginia Economics Online Papers 400, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  41. Kyle Jurado & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Serena Ng, 2013. "Measuring Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 19456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  43. Erik Hurst & Christopher Foote & John Leahy, 2000. "Testing the (S, s) Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 116-119, May.
  44. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Bayer, Christian, 2013. "‘Wait-and-See’ business cycles?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 704-719.
  45. James L. Paddock & Daniel R. Siegel & James L. Smith, 1988. "Option Valuation of Claims on Real Assets: The Case of Offshore Petroleum Leases," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 479-508.
  46. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
  47. Holger Kraft & Eduardo S. Schwartz & Farina Weiss, 2013. "Growth Options and Firm Valuation," NBER Working Papers 18836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-57, April.
  49. Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2001. "Displaced Capital: A Study of Aerospace Plant Closings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 958-992, October.
  50. Michelle Alexopoulos & Jon Cohen, 2009. "Uncertain Times, uncertain measures," Working Papers tecipa-352, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  51. Christina D. Romer, 1990. "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 597-624.
  52. Hartman, Richard, 1972. "The effects of price and cost uncertainty on investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 258-266, October.
  53. Lubos Pastor & Pietro Veronesi, 2011. "Political Uncertainty and Risk Premia," NBER Working Papers 17464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Ruediger Bachmann & Giuseppe Moscarini, 2011. "Business Cycles and Endogenous Uncertainty," 2011 Meeting Papers 36, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  55. Bar-Ilan, Avner & Strange, William C, 1996. "Investment Lags," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 610-22, June.
  56. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
  57. Robert G. Valletta & Leila Bengali, 2013. "What’s behind the increase in part-time work?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue aug26.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepops:038. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.