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Uncertainty Shocks as Second-Moment News Shocks

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  • David Berger
  • Ian Dew-Becker
  • Stefano Giglio

Abstract

We provide evidence on the relationship between aggregate uncertainty and the macroeconomy. Identifying uncertainty shocks using methods from the news shocks literature, the analysis finds that innovations in realized stock market volatility are robustly followed by contractions, while shocks to forward-looking uncertainty have no significant effect on the economy. Moreover, investors have historically paid large premia to hedge shocks to realized but not implied volatility. A model in which fundamental shocks are skewed left can match those facts. Aggregate volatility matters, but it is the realization of volatility, rather than uncertainty about the future, that has been associated with declines.

Suggested Citation

  • David Berger & Ian Dew-Becker & Stefano Giglio, 2017. "Uncertainty Shocks as Second-Moment News Shocks," NBER Working Papers 23796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23796
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    JEL classification:

    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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