IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/26983.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

COVID-Induced Economic Uncertainty

Author

Listed:
  • Scott R. Baker
  • Nicholas Bloom
  • Steven J. Davis
  • Stephen J. Terry

Abstract

Assessing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is essential for policymakers, but challenging because the crisis has unfolded with extreme speed. We identify three indicators – stock market volatility, newspaper-based economic uncertainty, and subjective uncertainty in business expectation surveys – that provide real-time forward-looking uncertainty measures. We use these indicators to document and quantify the enormous increase in economic uncertainty in the past several weeks. We also illustrate how these forward-looking measures can be used to assess the macroeconomic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, we feed COVID-induced first-moment and uncertainty shocks into an estimated model of disaster effects developed by Baker, Bloom and Terry (2020). Our illustrative exercise implies a year-on-year contraction in U.S. real GDP of nearly 11 percent as of 2020 Q4, with a 90 percent confidence interval extending to a nearly 20 percent contraction. The exercise says that about half of the forecasted output contraction reflects a negative effect of COVID-induced uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis & Stephen J. Terry, 2020. "COVID-Induced Economic Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 26983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26983
    Note: EFG
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w26983.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. N. Bloom., 2016. "Fluctuations in uncertainty," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    2. James H. Stock, 2020. "Data Gaps and the Policy Response to the Novel Coronavirus," NBER Working Papers 26902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni & Ludwig Straub & Iván Werning, 2020. "Macroeconomic Implications of COVID-19: Can Negative Supply Shocks Cause Demand Shortages?," Working Papers 2020-35, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    4. Nicholas Bloom & Ian Wright & Jose Maria Barrero, 2016. "Short- and Long-run Uncertainty," 2016 Meeting Papers 1576, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Robert J. Barro & José F. Ursúa & Joanna Weng, 2020. "The Coronavirus and the Great Influenza Pandemic: Lessons from the “Spanish Flu” for the Coronavirus’s Potential Effects on Mortality and Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 26866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Andrew Atkeson, 2020. "What Will be the Economic Impact of COVID-19 in the US? Rough Estimates of Disease Scenarios," Staff Report 595, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    7. Andrew Atkeson, 2020. "How Deadly is COVID-19? Understanding the Difficulties with Estimation of its Fatality Rate," Staff Report 598, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    8. David Altig & Jose Maria Barrero & Nicholas Bloom & Steven J. Davis & Brent H. Meyer & Nicholas Parker, 2019. "Surveying Business Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 25956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 2019. "Fifty Years of the Survey of Professional Forecasters," Economic Insights, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, vol. 4(4), pages 1-11, October.
    10. repec:fip:a00002:87872 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Laura Alfaro & Anusha Chari & Andrew N. Greenland & Peter K. Schott, 2020. "Aggregate and Firm-Level Stock Returns During Pandemics, in Real Time," NBER Working Papers 26950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Altig, Dave & Baker, Scott & Barrero, Jose Maria & Bloom, Nicholas & Bunn, Philip & Chen, Scarlet & Davis, Steven J. & Leather, Julia & Meyer, Brent & Mihaylov, Emil & Mizen, Paul & Parker, Nicholas &, 2020. "Economic uncertainty before and during the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 191(C).
    2. Cem Çakmaklı & Selva Demiralp & Ṣebnem Kalemli-Özcan & Sevcan Yesiltas & Muhammed A. Yildirim, 2020. "COVID-19 and Emerging Markets: A SIR Model, Demand Shocks and Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 27191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Michael Barnett & Greg Buchak & Constantine Yannelis, 2020. "Epidemic Responses Under Uncertainty," Working Papers 2020-72, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    4. Jesper Akesson & Sam Ashworth-Hayes & Robert Hahn & Robert D. Metcalfe & Itzhak Rasooly, 2020. "Fatalism, Beliefs, and Behaviors During the COVID-19 Pandemic," NBER Working Papers 27245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ortmans, Aymeric & Tripier, Fabien, 2021. "COVID-induced sovereign risk in the euro area: When did the ECB stop the spread?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    6. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "Labor Markets During the Covid-19 Crisis: A Preliminary View," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7rx7t91p, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    7. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Weber, Michael, 2020. "The Cost of the COVID-19 Crisis: Lockdowns, Macroeconomic Expectations, and Consumer Spending," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4jn1x65h, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    8. Brent Meyer & Brian Prescott & Xuguang Sheng, 2020. "The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Business Expectations," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2020-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    9. Christopher Avery & William Bossert & Adam Thomas Clark & Glenn Ellison & Sara Ellison, 2020. "Policy Implications of Models of the Spread of Coronavirus: Perspectives and Opportunities for Economists," CESifo Working Paper Series 8293, CESifo.
    10. Christopher Avery & William Bossert & Adam Clark & Glenn Ellison & Sara Fisher Ellison, 2020. "Policy Implications of Models of the Spread of Coronavirus: Perspectives and Opportunities for Economists," NBER Working Papers 27007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Fajgelbaum, Pablo & Khandelwal, Amit & Kim, Wookun & Mantovani, Cristiano & Schaal, Edouard, 2020. "Optimal Lockdown in a Commuting Network," CEPR Discussion Papers 14923, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Funke, Michael & Tsang, Andrew, 2020. "The People’s bank of China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic: A quantitative assessment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 465-473.
    13. Lautenbacher, Stefan, 2020. "Subjective Uncertainty, Expectations, and Firm Behavior," MPRA Paper 103516, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Christopher Cotton & Bahman Kashi & Huw Lloyd-Ellis & Frederic Tremblay, 2020. "Quantifying the Economic Impacts of COVID-19 Policy Responses on Canada's Provinces in (Almost) Real Time," Working Paper 1441, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    15. Kristian S. Blickle, 2020. "Pandemics Change Cities: Municipal Spending and Voter Extremism in Germany, 1918-1933," Staff Reports 921, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    16. George, Ammu & Li, Changtai & Lim, Jing Zhi & Xie, Taojun, 2021. "From SARS to COVID-19: The evolving role of China-ASEAN production network," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    17. Kumar, Anand & Priya, Bhawna & Srivastava, Samir K., 2021. "Response to the COVID-19: Understanding implications of government lockdown policies," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 76-94.
    18. Houštecká, Anna & Koh, Dongya & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2021. "Contagion at work: Occupations, industries and human contact," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 200(C).
    19. Gopal K. Basak & Chandramauli Chakraborty & Pranab Kumar Das, 2021. "Optimal Lockdown Strategy in a Pandemic: An Exploratory Analysis for Covid-19," Papers 2109.02512, arXiv.org.
    20. Alexander Chudik & M. Hashem Pesaran & Alessandro Rebucci, 2020. "Voluntary and Mandatory Social Distancing: Evidence on COVID-19 Exposure Rates from Chinese Provinces and Selected Countries," Globalization Institute Working Papers 382, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26983. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.