Distinguishing between macroeconomic and financial uncertainty: classification search in stochastic volatility in mean VARs

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Stochastic Volatility in Mean Vector Autoregressive models (SVMVARs) are a popular tool for measuring macroeconomic and financial uncertainty and their economic impacts. SVMVARs estimate macroeconomic (financial) uncertainty using a large set of macroeconomic (financial) variables. But what if there is uncertainty regarding whether variables are classified as macroeconomic or financial? We address this question, developing scalable Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms for classification search in large SVMVARs with unclassified variables. Using time-invariant or time-varying classification, the algorithm determines whether each unclassified variable should be treated as macroeconomic or financial. We show that allowing for data-driven classification improves model t. Our results also suggest that without data-driven classification, macroeconomic uncertainty, its adverse effects and its contribution to fluctuations in economic variables tend to be underestimated. Financial uncertainty is also underestimated but its effects on headline macroeconomic variables tend to be overestimated.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages46
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021
Event4th Annual Workshop on Financial Econometrics - Orebro University (Online), Sweden
Duration: 15 Nov 202116 Nov 2021


Conference4th Annual Workshop on Financial Econometrics


  • Bayesian VAR
  • uncertainty
  • stochastic volatility
  • big data
  • Stochastic Volatility in Mean Vector Autoregressive models
  • macroeconomics
  • finance

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