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Uncertainty and the Geography of the Great Recession

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  • Shoag, Daniel

    (Harvard University)

  • Veuger, Stan

    (American Enterprise Institute)

Abstract

We document the link between increased levels of economic and policy uncertainty and unemployment at the state-level during the 2007-2009 recession. The cross sectional variation in uncertainty robustly matches the distribution of employment outcomes during this period. When we instrument for this cross sectional variation using preexisting institutions, we find evidence for a causal role for uncertainty in increasing unemployment. A simple model of hiring and firing under uncertainty rationalizes these results, and the within-state distribution of effects across industries, occupations, and individuals is consistent with this model's predictions. Together, these results suggest that increased uncertainty contributed to the severity of the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Shoag, Daniel & Veuger, Stan, 2015. "Uncertainty and the Geography of the Great Recession," Working Paper Series rwp15-014, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp15-014
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey Clemens, 2015. "The Minimum Wage and the Great Recession: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," NBER Working Papers 21830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. DiMaggio, Marco & Kermani, Amir & Ramcharan, Rodney & Yu, Edison, 2017. "Household Credit and Local Economic Uncertainty," Working Papers 17-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    3. Christou, Christina & Cunado, Juncal & Gupta, Rangan & Hassapis, Christis, 2017. "Economic policy uncertainty and stock market returns in PacificRim countries: Evidence based on a Bayesian panel VAR model," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 92-102.
    4. 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.
    5. Mathy, Gabriel & Ziebarth, Nicolas L., 2017. "How Much Does Political Uncertainty Matter? The Case of Louisiana under Huey Long," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(01), pages 90-126, March.
    6. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:2:p:205-233 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Daniel Dejuán & Corinna Ghirelli, 2018. "Policy uncertainty and investment in Spain," Working Papers 1848, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    8. Clemens, Jeffrey & Wither, Michael, 2014. "Just the Facts: Demographic and Cross-Country Dimensions of the Employment Slump," MPRA Paper 60228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Lucas F. Husted & John H. Rogers & Bo Sun, 2017. "Monetary Policy Uncertainty," International Finance Discussion Papers 1215, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. repec:bpj:sndecm:v:22:y:2018:i:2:p:15:n:6 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:ecofin:v:46:y:2018:i:c:p:222-231 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Bahloul, Walid & Balcilar, Mehmet & Cunado, Juncal & Gupta, Rangan, 2018. "The role of economic and financial uncertainties in predicting commodity futures returns and volatility: Evidence from a nonparametric causality-in-quantiles test," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 52-71.
    13. Goodness C. Aye & Rangan Gupta, 2018. "Macroeconomic Uncertainty and the Comovement in Buying versus Renting in the United States," Working Papers 201832, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    14. Chow Sheung-Chi & Cunado Juncal & Gupta Rangan & Wong Wing-Keung, 2018. "Causal relationships between economic policy uncertainty and housing market returns in China and India: evidence from linear and nonlinear panel and time series models," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 22(2), pages 1-15, April.
    15. Jeffrey Clemens & Stan Veuger, 2017. "Risks To The Returns To Medical Innovation: The Case Of Myriad Genetics," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 345-357, April.
    16. Gabriel Lee & Binh Nguyen Thanh & Johannes Strobel, 2017. "Effects of Macroeconomic Uncertainty and Labor Demand Shocks on the Housing Market," Working Papers 170, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).

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