A Critical Look at Measures of Macroeconomic Uncertainty
This paper takes a critical look at available proxies of uncertainty. Two questions are adressed: (i) How do we evaluate proxies given that subjective uncertainty is inherently unobservable? (ii) Is there such a thing as a general macroeconomic uncertainty? Using correlations, some narrative evidence and a factor analysis we find that disagreement and stock market volatility proxies seem to be valid measures of uncertainty whereas probability forecast measures are not. This result is reinforced when we use our proxies in standard macroeconomic applications where uncertainty is supposed to matter. Uncertainty is positively correlated with the absolute value of the GDP-gap.
|Date of creation:||28 Feb 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden|
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Lyhagen, Johan, 1997. "The Effect of Precautionary Saving on Consumption in Sweden," Working Papers 58, National Institute of Economic Research.
- Bomberger, William A, 1996. "Disagreement as a Measure of Uncertainty," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(3), pages 381-92, August.
- 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.
- Nicholas Bloom, 2009.
"The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks,"
Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
- Chen, Andrew H. & Siems, Thomas F., 2004. "The effects of terrorism on global capital markets," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 349-366, June.
- Victor Zarnowitz & Louis A. Lambros, 1983. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," NBER Working Papers 1171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kalvinder Shields & Nilss Olekalns & Ãlan T. Henry & Chris Brooks, 2005.
"Measuring the Response of Macroeconomic Uncertainty to Shocks,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 362-370, May.
- Kalvinder Shields & Nilss Olekalns & Ólan T. Henry & Chris Brooks, 2003. "Measuring the Response of Macroeconomic Uncertainty to Shocks," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 870, The University of Melbourne.
- Zarnowitz, Victor & Lambros, Louis A, 1987. "Consensus and Uncertainty in Economic Prediction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 591-621, June.
- Hall, Robert E, 1988.
"Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
- Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2003.
"Inflation forecast uncertainty,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1037-1059, December.
- Söderlind, Paul, 2000. "Inflation Forecast Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 2499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2000. "Inflation Forecast Uncertainty," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 384, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 09 Oct 2000.
- Johan Lyhagen, 2001. "The effect of precautionary saving on consumption in Sweden," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(5), pages 673-681.
- Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
- Jean Sepulveda-Umanzor, 2004. "The Relation Between Macroeconomic Uncertainty And The Expected Performance Of the Economy," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 304, Econometric Society.
- Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2007_014. 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: (Katarina Grönvall)
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.