NBER

Philip Bunn

Bank of England
Threadneedle Street
London EC2R 8AH
UK

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Bank of England

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2020Economic Uncertainty Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic
with David Altig, Scott R. Baker, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Scarlet Chen, Steven J. Davis, Julia Leather, Brent H. Meyer, Emil Mihaylov, Paul Mizen, Nicholas B. Parker, Thomas Renault, Pawel Smietanka, Greg Thwaites: w27418
We consider several economic uncertainty indicators for the US and UK before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: implied stock market volatility, newspaper-based economic policy uncertainty, twitter chatter about economic uncertainty, subjective uncertainty about future business growth, and disagreement among professional forecasters about future GDP growth. Three results emerge. First, all indicators show huge uncertainty jumps in reaction to the pandemic and its economic fallout. Indeed, most indicators reach their highest values on record. Second, peak amplitudes differ greatly – from a rise of around 100% (relative to January 2020) in two-year implied volatility on the S&P 500 and subjective uncertainty around year-ahead sales for UK firms to a 20-fold rise in forecaster disagreement abo...
September 2019The Impact of Brexit on UK Firms
with Nicholas Bloom, Scarlet Chen, Paul Mizen, Pawel Smietanka, Gregory Thwaites: w26218
We use a major new survey of UK firms, the Decision Maker Panel, to assess the impact of the June 2016 Brexit referendum. We identify three key results. First, the UK’s decision to leave the EU has generated a large, broad and long-lasting increase in uncertainty. Second, anticipation of Brexit is estimated to have gradually reduced investment by about 11% over the three years following the June 2016 vote. This fall in investment took longer to occur than predicted at the time of the referendum, suggesting that the size and persistence of this uncertainty may have delayed firms’ response to the Brexit vote. Finally, the Brexit process is estimated to have reduced UK productivity by between 2% and 5% over the three years after the referendum. Much of this drop is from negative within-firm e...

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