NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Brent H. Meyer

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

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

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, Philip Bunn, Scarlet Chen, Steven J. Davis, Julia Leather, 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...

Published: Dave Altig & Scott Baker & Jose Maria Barrero & Nick Bloom & Phil Bunn & Scarlet Chen & Steven J. Davis & Julia Leather & Brent Meyer & Emil Mihaylov & Paul Mizen & Nick Parker & Thomas Renault & Pawel Smietanka & Gregory Thwaites, 2020. "Economic Uncertainty Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic," Journal of Public Economics, .

June 2019Surveying Business Uncertainty
with David Altig, Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom, Steven J. Davis, Nicholas Parker: w25956
We elicit subjective probability distributions from business executives about their own-firm outcomes at a one-year look-ahead horizon. In terms of question design, our key innovation is to let survey respondents freely select support points and probabilities in five-point distributions over future sales growth, employment, and investment. In terms of data collection, we develop and field a new monthly panel Survey of Business Uncertainty. The SBU began in 2014 and now covers about 1,750 firms drawn from all 50 states, every major nonfarm industry, and a range of firm sizes. We find three key results. First, firm-level growth expectations are highly predictive of realized growth rates. Second, subjective uncertainty is highly predictive of forecast errors and the magnitude of future foreca...
 
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