Monday, December 5, 2016

Exogenous vs. Endogenous Volatility Dynamics

I always thought putting exogenous volatility dynamics in macro-model shocks was a cop-out.  Somehow it seemed more satisfying for volatility to be determined endogenously, in equilibrium.  Then I came around:  We allow for shocks with exogenous conditional-mean dynamics (e.g., AR(1)), so why shouldn't we allow for shocks with exogenous conditional-volatility dynamics?  Now I might shift back, at least in part, thanks to new work by Sydney Ludvigson, Sai Ma, and Serena Ng, "Uncertainty and Business Cycles: Exogenous Impulse or Endogenous Response?", which attempts to sort things out. The October 2016 version is here.  It turns out that real (macro) volatility appears largely endogenous, whereas nominal (financial market) volatility appears largely exogenous.