Uncertainty shocks and the great recession: nonlinearities matter

Giovanni Caggiano, Efrem Castelnuovo, Giovanni Pellegrino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


We show that a nonlinear DSGE framework estimated on moments (impulse responses) specific to the great recession implies a peak response of the cyclical component of output to an uncertainty shock 50% larger than the one predicted by the very same model estimated on moments implied by a standard linear VAR. As an implication, the DSGE framework estimated on impulse responses generated with the nonlinear VAR assigns to the 2008Q4 uncertainty shock a contribution of about 60% as regards the output loss experienced by the US economy during and after the great recession. The same DSGE framework estimated by matching the impulse responses of the linear VAR severely underestimates such contribution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109669
Number of pages5
JournalEconomics Letters
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Great recession
  • Minimum-distance estimation
  • Nonlinear DSGE framework
  • Nonlinear IVAR
  • Uncertainty shock

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