NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Why Has U.S. Policy Uncertainty Risen Since 1960?

Scott R. Baker, Nicholas Bloom, Brandice Canes-Wrone, Steven J. Davis, Jonathan A. Rodden

NBER Working Paper No. 19826
Issued in January 2014
NBER Program(s):Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Public Economics, Political Economy

There appears to be a strong upward drift in policy-related economic uncertainty after 1960. We consider two classes of explanations for this rise. The first stresses growth in government spending, taxes, and regulation. A second stresses increased political polarization and its implications for the policy-making process and policy choices. While the evidence is inconclusive, it suggests that both factors play a role in driving the secular increase in policy uncertainty over the last half century.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19826

Published: Scott R. Baker & Nicholas Bloom & Brandice Canes-Wrone & Steven J. Davis & Jonathan Rodden, 2014. "Why Has US Policy Uncertainty Risen since 1960?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 56-60, May. citation courtesy of

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