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Monetary policy on twitter and asset prices: Evidence from computational text analysis

Jochen Lüdering () and Peter Tillmann

The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, 2020, vol. 51, issue C

Abstract: In this paper, we dissect the Twitter debate about the future course of monetary policy and trace the effects of selected topics of this discourse on U.S. asset prices. We focus on the “taper tantrum” episode in 2013, a period with large revisions in expectations about future Fed policy. Based on a novel data set of 90,000 Twitter messages (“tweets”) covering the debate of Fed tapering on Twitter, we use Latent Dirichlet Allocation, a computational text analysis tool, to quantify the content of the discussion. Several estimated topic frequencies are then included in a VAR model to estimate the effects of topic shocks on asset prices. We find that the discussion about Fed policy on social media contains price-relevant information. Shocks to the discussion about the timing of the tapering, about the broader economic policy context and worrying investors are shown to lead to significant asset price changes. We also show that the effects are mostly due to changes in the term premium of yields consistent with the portfolio balance channel of unconventional monetary policy.

Keywords: Monetary policy; Fed; Latent Dirichlet Allocation; Text analysis; VAR (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E32 E44 E52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.najef.2018.11.004

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