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News, Uncertainty and Economic Fluctuations

Listed author(s):
  • Forni, Mario
  • Gambetti, Luca
  • Sala, Luca

We formalize the idea that uncertainty is generated by news about future developments in economic conditions which are not perfectly predictable by the agents. Using a simple model of limited information, we show that uncertainty shocks can be obtained as the square of news shocks. We develop a two-step econometric procedure to estimate the effects of news and we find highly nonlinear effects. Large news shocks increase uncertainty. This mitigates the effects of good news and amplifies the effects of bad news in the short run. By contrast, small news shocks reduce uncertainty and increase output in the short run. The Volcker recession and the Great Recession were exacerbated by the uncertainty effects of news.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 12139.

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Date of creation: Jul 2017
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12139
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  1. Miles S. Kimball & John G. Fernald & Susanto Basu, 2006. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1418-1448, December.
  2. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2006. "Does information help recovering structural shocks from past observations?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 455-465, 04-05.
  3. Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1994. "VAR analysis, nonfundamental representations, blaschke matrices," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 307-325, July.
  4. Den Haan, Wouter J. & Kaltenbrunner, Georg, 2009. "Anticipated growth and business cycles in matching models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 309-327, April.
  5. Bin Chen & Jinho Choi & Juan Carlos Escanciano, 2015. "Testing for Fundamental Vector Moving Average Representations," Caepr Working Papers 2015-022 Classification-C, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  6. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J. & McGrattan, Ellen R., 2008. "Are structural VARs with long-run restrictions useful in developing business cycle theory?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1337-1352, November.
  7. Baxter, Brad & Graham, Liam & Wright, Stephen, 2011. "Invertible and non-invertible information sets in linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 295-311, March.
  8. Guido Lorenzoni, 2009. "A Theory of Demand Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2050-2084, December.
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