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Uncertainty Shocks and Unemployment Dynamics: An Analysis of Post-WWII U.S. Recessions


  • Giovanni Caggiano

    () (University of Padova)

  • Efrem Castelnuovo

    () (University of Padova)

  • Nicolas Groshenny

    () (University of Adelaide)


We investigate the effects of uncertainty shocks on unemployment dynamics in the post-WWII U.S. recessions via non-linear (Smooth-Transition) VARs. The relevance of uncertainty shocks is found to be much larger than that predicted by standard linear VARs in terms of i) magnitude of the reaction of the unemployment rate to suck shocks, ii) welfare costs computed by considering conditional macroeconomic volatilities, iii) contribution to the variance of the prediction errors of unemployment at business cycle frequencies. We discuss the ability of different classes of DSGE models to replicate our results. Our findings reinforce the relevance of the trade-off between "correctness" and "timeliness" of policy makers' decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Caggiano & Efrem Castelnuovo & Nicolas Groshenny, 2013. "Uncertainty Shocks and Unemployment Dynamics: An Analysis of Post-WWII U.S. Recessions," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0166, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0166

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    Cited by:

    1. Nodari, Gabriela, 2014. "Financial regulation policy uncertainty and credit spreads in the US," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 122-132.
    2. Caggiano, Giovanni & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Groshenny, Nicolas, 2014. "Uncertainty shocks and unemployment dynamics in U.S. recessions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 78-92.
    3. Bonciani, Dario, 2014. "Uncertainty shocks: it's a matter of habit," MPRA Paper 59370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Caggiano, Giovanni & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Damette, Olivier & Parent, Antoine & Pellegrino, Giovanni, 2017. "Liquidity traps and large-scale financial crises," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 99-114.
    5. Netšunajev, Aleksei & Glass, Katharina, 2017. "Uncertainty and employment dynamics in the euro area and the US," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 48-62.
    6. Knut Are Aastveit & Gisle James Natvik & Sergio Sola, 2013. "Economic uncertainty and the effectiveness of monetary policy," Working Paper 2013/17, Norges Bank.
    7. Giovanni Caggiano & Efrem Castelnuovo & Gabriela Nodari, 2014. "Uncertainty and Monetary Policy in Good and Bad Times," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0188, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    8. Colombo, Valentina, 2013. "Economic policy uncertainty in the US: Does it matter for the Euro area?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 39-42.
    9. Mumtaz, Haroon & Surico, Paolo, 2013. "Policy Uncertainty and Aggregate Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 9694, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Soojin Jo & Rodrigo Sekkel, 2016. "Macroeconomic Uncertainty Through the Lens of Professional Forecasters," Staff Working Papers 16-5, Bank of Canada.
    11. Amélie Charles & Olivier Darné & Fabien Tripier, 2017. "Uncertainty and the Macroeconomy: Evidence from an Uncertainty Composite Indicator," Working Papers 2017-25, CEPII research center.
    12. Ricco, Giovanni & Callegari, Giovanni & Cimadomo, Jacopo, 2014. "Signals from the Government: Policy Uncertainty and the Transmission of Fiscal Shocks," MPRA Paper 56136, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Uncertainty shocks; Unemployment Dynamics; Smooth Transition Vector-AutoRegressions; Recessions.;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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