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Identifying Uncertainty Shocks Using the Price of Gold

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  • Michele Piffer
  • Maximilian Podstawski

Abstract

We propose a new instrument to identify the impact of uncertainty shocks in a SVAR model with external instruments. We construct the instrument for uncertainty shocks by exploiting variations in the price of gold around selected events. The events capture periods of changes in uncertainty unrelated to other macroeconomic shocks. The variations in the price of gold around such events provide a measure correlated with the underlying uncertainty shocks, due to the perception of gold as a safe haven asset. The proposed approach improves upon the recursive identification of uncertainty shocks by not restricting only one structural shock to potentially affect all variables in the system. Replicating Bloom (2009), we find that the recursive approach underestimates the effects of uncertainty shocks and their role in driving monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Piffer & Maximilian Podstawski, 2016. "Identifying Uncertainty Shocks Using the Price of Gold," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1549, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1549
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic uncertainty; external proxy SVAR; safe haven assets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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