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UNDERSTANDING THE MACROECONOMIC IMPACT OF ILLIQUIDITY SHOCKS IN THE UNITED STATES

Chia‐Yi Yen and Yu-Hsi Chou

Economic Inquiry, 2020, vol. 58, issue 3, 1245-1278

Abstract: In this paper, we empirically investigate the role of stock market illiquidity shocks, stemming from Amihud's illiquidity measure, in explaining U.S. macroeconomic fluctuations from 1973 to 2018. We find that the impact of illiquidity shocks on economic activity is substantial, and historical decomposition analysis shows that cumulative illiquidity shocks were an essential contributor to the prolonged economic slump of the Great Recession. Moreover, our identified illiquidity shocks represent a distinct source of macroeconomic instability. This suggests that illiquidity shocks, measured by the stock price impacts, may contain more information than other types of shocks in recent studies, such as financial shocks and uncertainty shocks. (JEL C32, E32)

Date: 2020
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