IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Risk, uncertainty and monetary policy

  • Geert Bekaert

    (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University)

  • Marie Hoerova


  • Marco Lo Duca


The VIX, the stock market option-based implied volatility, strongly co-moves with measures of the monetary policy stance. When decomposing the VIX into two components, a proxy for risk aversion and expected stock market volatility (“uncertainty”), we find that a lax monetary policy decreases both risk aversion and uncertainty, with the former effect being stronger. The result holds in a structural vector autoregressive framework, controlling for business cycle movements and using a variety of identification schemes for the vector autoregression in general and monetary policy shocks in particular.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 229.

in new window

Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201210-229
Contact details of provider: Postal: Boulevard de Berlaimont 14, B-1000 Bruxelles
Phone: (+ 32) (0) 2 221 25 34
Fax: (+ 32) (0) 2 221 31 62
Web page:

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.:

as in new window
  1. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1999. "Error Bands for Impulse Responses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(5), pages 1113-1156, September.
  2. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  3. Robert G. King & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "Testing long-run neutrality," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 69-101.
  4. Itamar Drechsler & Amir Yaron, 2011. "What's Vol Got to Do with It," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(1), pages 1-45.
  5. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  6. Bekaert, Geert & Hoerova, Marie, 2014. "The VIX, the variance premium and stock market volatility," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 183(2), pages 181-192.
  7. Adalid, Ramón & Detken, Carsten, 2007. "Liquidity shocks and asset price boom/bust cycles," Working Paper Series 0732, European Central Bank.
  8. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2003. "What explains the stock market's reaction to Federal Reserve policy?," Staff Reports 174, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. anonymous, 2009. "Monetary policy report to the Congress," Web Site 46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2009. "The Fed's monetary policy response to the current crisis," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may22.
  11. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2012. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 18245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Should Central Banks Respond to Movements in Asset Prices?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 253-257, May.
  13. Sims, Christopher A, 1998. "Comment on Glenn Rudebusch's "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?"," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 933-41, November.
  14. Tobias Adrian & Hyun Song Shin, 2008. "Liquidity, monetary policy, and financial cycles," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 14(Jan).
  15. Tim Bollerslev & Tzuo Hao & George Tauchen, 2008. "Expected Stock Returns and Variance Risk Premia," CREATES Research Papers 2008-48, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  16. Peter Carr & Liuren Wu, 2009. "Variance Risk Premiums," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(3), pages 1311-1341, March.
  17. Antonio Moreno & Geert Bekaert & Seonghoon Cho, 2004. "New-Keynesian Macroeconomics and the Term Structure," 2004 Meeting Papers 388, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Willem Thorbecke, 1995. "On Stock Market Returns and Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_139, Levy Economics Institute.
  19. Refet Gürkaynak & Brian Sack, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 323, Society for Computational Economics.
  20. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
  21. Donald W.K. Andrews, 2002. "End-of-Sample Instability Tests," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1369, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  22. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1997. "Monetary policy shocks: what have we learned and to what end?," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  23. Borio, Claudio & Zhu, Haibin, 2012. "Capital regulation, risk-taking and monetary policy: A missing link in the transmission mechanism?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 236-251.
  24. Yener Altunbas & Leonardo Gambacorta & David Marques-Ibanez, 2010. "Does monetary policy affect bank risk-taking?," BIS Working Papers 298, Bank for International Settlements.
  25. Bekaert, Geert & Engstrom, Eric & Xing, Yuhang, 2006. "Risk, Uncertainty and Asset Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 5947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Bekaert, Geert & Engstrom, Eric, 2010. "Asset Return Dynamics Under Bad Environment-Good Environment Fundamentals," CEPR Discussion Papers 8150, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2004. "Exchange rates and fundamentals: new evidence from real-time data," Working Paper Series 0365, European Central Bank.
  28. Barro, Robert, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 3208215, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  29. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
  31. Simon Gilchrist & Egon Zakrajšek, 2011. "Credit Spreads and Business Cycle Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 17021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. V. Coudert & M. Gex, 2008. "Does risk aversion drive financial crises? Testing the predictive power of empirical indicators," Post-Print halshs-00321667, HAL.
  33. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Rigobon, Roberto & Sack, Brian, 2004. "The impact of monetary policy on asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1553-1575, November.
  35. Angela Maddaloni & Jose-Luis Peydro, 2011. "Bank Risk-taking, Securitization, Supervision, and Low Interest Rates: Evidence from the Euro-area and the U.S. Lending Standards," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 2121-2165.
  36. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 1994. "The effects of monetary policy shocks: evidence from the Flow of Funds," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  37. Gurdip Bakshi & Nikunj Kapadia & Dilip Madan, 2003. "Stock Return Characteristics, Skew Laws, and the Differential Pricing of Individual Equity Options," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(1), pages 101-143.
  38. Stefania D'Amico & Mira Farka, 2011. "The Fed and the Stock Market: An Identification Based on Intraday Futures Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 126-137, January.
  39. Jiménez, Gabriel & Ongena, Steven & Peydró, José Luis & Saurina, Jesús, 2007. "Hazardous Times for Monetary Policy: What Do Twenty-Three Million Bank Loans Say About the Effects of Monetary Policy on Credit Risk?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  40. Roberto Rigobon & Brian Sack, 2003. "Measuring The Reaction of Monetary Policy to the Stock Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 639-669.
  41. Adina Popescu & Frank Rafael Smets, 2010. "Uncertainty, Risk-taking, and the Business Cycle in Germany," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(4), pages 596-626, December.
  42. Gilchrist, Simon & Leahy, John V., 2002. "Monetary policy and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 75-97, January.
  43. Alessi, Lucia & Detken, Carsten, 2011. "Quasi real time early warning indicators for costly asset price boom/bust cycles: A role for global liquidity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 520-533, September.
  44. Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2008. "Structural vector autoregressions: theory of identification and algorithms for inference," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2008-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  45. Faust, Jon & Swanson, Eric T. & Wright, Jonathan H., 2004. "Identifying VARS based on high frequency futures data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1107-1131, September.
  46. Tao Wu & Glenn Rudebusch, 2004. "A Macro-Finance Model of the Term Structure, Monetary Policy, and the Economy," 2004 Meeting Papers 104, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  47. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "The Liquidity Effect and Long-Run Neutrality," NBER Working Papers 6608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2006. "Alternative Procedures for Estimating Vector Autoregressions Identified with Long-Run Restrictions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 475-483, 04-05.
  49. Jonathan H. Wright, 2012. "What does Monetary Policy do to Long‐term Interest Rates at the Zero Lower Bound?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F447-F466, November.
  50. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902.
  51. Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2000. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: evidence from the Fed funds futures markets," Staff Reports 99, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  52. anonymous, 2009. "Monetary policy report to the Congress," Web Site 70, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  53. Breeden, Douglas T & Litzenberger, Robert H, 1978. "Prices of State-contingent Claims Implicit in Option Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(4), pages 621-51, October.
  54. Philip Lowe & Claudio Borio, 2002. "Asset prices, financial and monetary stability: exploring the nexus," BIS Working Papers 114, Bank for International Settlements.
  55. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
  56. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2007. "Investor Sentiment in the Stock Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 129-152, Spring.
  57. Mark Britten-Jones & Anthony Neuberger, 2000. "Option Prices, Implied Price Processes, and Stochastic Volatility," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(2), pages 839-866, 04.
  58. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  59. Raghuram G. Rajan, 2006. "Has Finance Made the World Riskier?," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 12(4), pages 499-533.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201210-229. 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: ()

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.