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Uncertainty spill-overs: when policy and financial realms overlap

Emanuele Bacchiocchi () and Catalin Dragomirescu-Gaina

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Abstract: No matter its source, financial- or policy-related, uncertainty can feed onto itself, inflicting the real economic sector, altering expectations and behaviours, and leading to identification challenges in empirical applications. The strong intertwining between policy and financial realms prevailing in Europe, and in Euro Area in particular, might complicate the problem and create amplification mechanisms difficult to pin down. To reveal the complex transmission of country-specific uncertainty shocks in a multi-country setting, and to properly account for cross-country interdependencies, we employ a global VAR specification for which we adapt an identification approach based on magnitude restrictions. Once we separate policy uncertainty from financial uncertainty shocks, we find evidence of important cross-border uncertainty spill-overs. We also uncover a new amplification mechanism for domestic uncertainty shocks, whose true nature becomes more blurred once they cross the national boundaries and spill over to other countries. With respect to ECB policy reactions, we reveal stronger but less persistent responses to financial uncertainty shocks compared to policy uncertainty shocks. This points to ECB adopting a more (passive or) accommodative stance towards the former, but a more pro-active stance towards the latter shocks, possibly as an attempt to tame policy uncertainty spill-overs and prevent the fragmentation of the Euro Area financial markets.

Date: 2021-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-eec and nep-mon
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