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The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks on the UK Economy

  • Stephanie Denis
  • Prakash Kannan

This paper quantifies the economic impact of uncertainty shocks in the UK using data that span the recent Great Recession. We find that uncertainty shocks have a significant impact on economic activity in the UK, depressing industrial production and GDP. The peak impact is felt fairly quickly at around 6-12 months after the shock, and becomes statistically negligible after 18 months. Interestingly, the impact of uncertainty shocks on industrial production in the UK is strikingly similar to that of the US both in terms of the shape and magnitude of the response. However, unemployment in the UK is less affected by uncertainty shocks. Finally, we find that uncertainty shocks can account for about a quarter of the decline in industrial production during the Great Recession.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 13/66.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: 08 Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:13/66
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  1. Driver, Ciaran & Moreton, David, 1991. "The Influence of Uncertainty on UK Manufacturing Investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1452-59, November.
  2. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
  3. Rüdiger Bachmann & Christian Bayer, 2011. "Uncertainty Business Cycles - Really?," NBER Working Papers 16862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eric R. Sims, 2012. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," Working Papers 014, University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2012.
  5. Christopher A. Sims, 1992. "Interpreting the Macroeconomic Time Series Facts: The Effects of Monetary Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1011, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Romer, Christina D, 1990. "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 597-624, August.
  7. Yavuz Arslan & Aslıhan Atabek & Timur Hulagu & Saygın Şahinöz, 2015. "Expectation errors, uncertainty, and economic activity," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 634-660.
  8. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
  9. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-54, May-June.
  10. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474.
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