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The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks on the Volatility of Commodity Prices

Author

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  • Dimitrios Bakas

    () (Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, UK; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis)

  • Athanasios Triantafyllou

    () (Essex Business School, University of Essex, UK)

Abstract

In this paper, we empirically examine the impact of uncertainty shocks on the volatility of commodity prices. Using alternative measures of economic uncertainty for the U.S. we estimate their effects on commodity price volatility by employing both VAR and OLS regression models. We find that the unobservable economic uncertainty measures of Jurado et al. (2015) have a significant and long-lasting positive impact on the volatility of commodity prices. Our results indicate that a positive shock in both macroeconomic and financial uncertainty leads to a persistent increase in the volatility of the broad commodity market index and of the individual commodity prices, with the macroeconomic effect being more significant. The impact is stronger in energy commodities compared to the agricultural and metals markets. In addition, our findings show that the measure of unpredictability of the macroeconomic environment has the most significant impact on the commodity price volatility when compared to the observable measures of economic uncertainty that have a rather small and transitory effect. Finally, we show that uncertainty in the macroeconomy is significantly reduced after the occurrence of large commodity market volatility episodes.

Suggested Citation

  • Dimitrios Bakas & Athanasios Triantafyllou, 2017. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks on the Volatility of Commodity Prices," Working Paper series 17-31, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:17-31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Economic Uncertainty; Commodity Prices; Volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • G13 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Contingent Pricing; Futures Pricing
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q02 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Commodity Market

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