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Measuring Uncertainty

Listed author(s):
  • Kyle Jurado
  • Sydney C. Ludvigson
  • Serena Ng

This paper exploits a data rich environment to provide direct econometric estimates of time-varying macroeconomic uncertainty, defined as the common volatility in the unforecastable component of a large number of economic indicators. Our estimates display significant independent variations from popular uncertainty proxies, suggesting that much of the variation in the proxies is not driven by uncertainty. Quantitatively important uncertainty episodes appear far more infrequently than indicated by popular uncertainty proxies, but when they do occur, they are larger, more persistent, and are more correlated with real activity. Our estimates provide a benchmark to evaluate theories for which uncertainty shocks play a role in business cycles.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19456.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19456.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
Publication status: published as Kyle Jurado & Sydney C. Ludvigson & Serena Ng, 2015. "Measuring Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1177-1216, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19456
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  1. Bekaert, Geert & Hoerova, Marie & Lo Duca, Marco, 2013. "Risk, uncertainty and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 771-788.
  2. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2011. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 774, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Nov 2015.
  3. Andersen, Torben G. & Bollerslev, Tim & Christoffersen, Peter F. & Diebold, Francis X., 2013. "Financial Risk Measurement for Financial Risk Management," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
  4. Andrea CARRIERO & Todd E. CLARK & Massimiliano MARCELLINO, 2012. "Common Drifting Volatility in Large Bayesian VARs," Economics Working Papers ECO2012/08, European University Institute.
  5. Edward S. Knotek II & Shujaat Khan, 2011. "How do households respond to uncertainty shocks?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II.
  6. Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom, 2013. "Does Uncertainty Reduce Growth? Using Disasters as Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 19475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
  8. Ludvigson, Sydney C. & Ng, Serena, 2007. "The empirical risk-return relation: A factor analysis approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 171-222, January.
  9. Rüdiger Bachmann & Christian Bayer, 2011. "Uncertainty Business Cycles - Really?," NBER Working Papers 16862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. R?diger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2013. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 217-249, April.
  11. Leahy, John V & Whited, Toni M, 1996. "The Effect of Uncertainty on Investment: Some Stylized Facts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(1), pages 64-83, February.
  12. Scotti, Chiara, 2016. "Surprise and uncertainty indexes: Real-time aggregation of real-activity macro-surprises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-19.
  13. Kajal Lahiri & Xuguang Sheng, 2010. "Measuring forecast uncertainty by disagreement: The missing link," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 514-538.
  14. Emi Nakamura & Dmitriy Sergeyev & Jón Steinsson, 2017. "Growth-Rate and Uncertainty Shocks in Consumption: Cross-Country Evidence," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 1-39, January.
  15. David Greasley & Jakob B. Madsen, 2006. "Investment and Uncertainty: Precipitating the Great Depression in the United States," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(291), pages 393-412, 08.
  16. Pagan, Adrian, 1984. "Econometric Issues in the Analysis of Regressions with Generated Regressors," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 221-247, February.
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