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The International Dimension of Confidence Shocks

  • Stéphane Dées
  • Jochen Güntner

Building on Beaudry, Nam and Wang (2011) - hereafter BNW -, we use survey data on consumer sentiment in order to identify the causal effects of confidence shocks on real economic activity in a selection of advanced economies. Starting from a set of closed-economy VAR models, we show that these shocks have a significant and persistent impact on domestic consumption and real GDP. In line with BNW, we find that confidence shocks explain a large share of the variance in real economic activity. At the same time, the shocks we identify are significantly correlated across countries. In order to account for common global components in international confidence cycles, we extend the analysis to a FAVAR model. This approach proves effective in removing the correlation in country-specific confidence shocks and in isolating mutually orthogonal idiosyncratic components. As a result, the (domestic and cross-border) impacts of country-specific confidence shocks are smaller and their contribution to business cycle fluctuations is reduced, confirming the global dimension of confidence shocks. Overall, our evidence shows that confidence shocks play some role in business cycle fluctuations. At the same time, we show that confidence shocks have a strong global component, supporting their role in international business cycles.

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File URL: http://www.econ.jku.at/papers/2014/wp1405.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2014-05.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2014_05
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Web page: http://www.econ.jku.at/

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  1. Carroll, Christopher D & Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Wilcox, David W, 1994. "Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1397-1408, December.
  2. Paul Beaudry & Deokwoo Nam & Jian Wang, 2011. "Do mood swings drive business cycles and is it rational?," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 98, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  3. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2003. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3844, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," NBER Working Papers 12537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert B. Barsky & Eric R. Sims, 2009. "Information, Animal Spirits, and the Meaning of Innovations in Consumer Confidence," NBER Working Papers 15049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Uhlig, Harald, 1999. "What are the Effects of Monetary Policy on Output? Results from an Agnostic Identification Procedure," CEPR Discussion Papers 2137, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Dées, Stéphane & Soares Brinca, Pedro, 2011. "Consumer confidence as a predictor of consumption spending: evidence for the United States and the euro area," Working Paper Series 1349, European Central Bank.
  8. Martial Dupaigne & Franck Portier & Paul Beaudry, 2007. "The International Propagation of News Shocks," 2007 Meeting Papers 251, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Harald Uhlig & Pooyan Amir Ahmadi, 2012. "Measuring The Dynamic Effects Of Monetary Policy Shocks: A Bayesian Favar Approach With Sign Restriction," 2012 Meeting Papers 1060, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Andrew Mountford & Harald Uhlig, 2008. "What are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Shocks?," NBER Working Papers 14551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Small-Sample Confidence Intervals For Impulse Response Functions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 218-230, May.
  12. Ren�e Fry & Adrian Pagan, 2011. "Sign Restrictions in Structural Vector Autoregressions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 938-60, December.
  13. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr Eliasz, 2004. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-Augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," NBER Working Papers 10220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Renee Fry & Adrian Pagan, 2007. "Some Issues in Using Sign Restrictions for Identifying Structural VARs," NCER Working Paper Series 14, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  15. Barsky, Robert B. & Sims, Eric R., 2011. "News shocks and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 273-289.
  16. Sydney C. Ludvigson, 2004. "Consumer Confidence and Consumer Spending," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
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