Sectoral Uncertainty

Author name: 
Castelnuovo E
Tuzcuoglu K
Uzeda L

We propose a new empirical framework that jointly decomposes the conditional variance of economic time series into a common and a sector-specific uncertainty component. We apply our framework to a large dataset of disaggregated industrial production series for the US economy. Our results indicate that common uncertainty and uncertainty linked to nondurable goods both recorded their pre-pandemic global peaks during the 1973-75 recession. In contrast, durable goods uncertainty recorded its pre-pandemic peak during the global financial crisis of 2008-09. Vector autoregression exercises identify unexpected changes in durable goods uncertainty as drivers of downturns that are both economically and statistically significant, while unexpected hikes in nondurable goods uncertainty are expansionary. Our findings suggest that: (i) uncertainty is heterogeneous at a sectoral level; and (ii) durable goods uncertainty may drive some business cycle effects typically attributed to aggregate uncertainty.

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