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The impact of uncertainty shocks: firm level estimation and a 9/11 simulation

  • Nick Bloom

Uncertainty appears to vary strongly over time, temporarily rising by up to 200% around major shocks like the Cuban Missile crisis, the assassination of JFK and 9/11. This paper offers the first structural framework to analyze uncertainty shocks. I build a model with a time varying second moment, which is numerically solved and estimated using firm level data. The parameterized model is then used to simulate a macro uncertainty shock, which produces a rapid drop and rebound in employment, investment and productivity, and a moderate loss in GDP. This temporary impact of a second moment shock is different from the typically persistent impact of a first moment shock, highlighting the importance for policymakers of identifying their relative magnitudes in major shocks. The simulation of an uncertainty shock is then compared to actual 9/11 data, displaying a surprisingly good match.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19867/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19867.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19867
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Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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