News media present competing interpretations of what breaking news implies for the macroeconomy. Recent examples include news reporting on high inflation and yield curve inversions. Do these narratives shape macroeconomic sentiment? In this paper, we highlight the importance of narratives using evidence linking traditional media and social media.
Staff working papers
We provide empirical evidence of effects to the aggregate economy from surprises about financial intermediaries’ net worth based on a high-frequency identification strategy. We estimate that news of a 1% decline in intermediaries’ net worth leads to a 0.2%–0.4% decrease in the market value of nonfinancial firms.
How much attention do firms pay to macroeconomic news? Through a novel text-based measure, two facts emerge. First, attention is polarized. Most firms either never or always pay attention to economic conditions. Second, it is countercyclical. During recessions, more firms pay attention, and firms pay greater attention to macroeconomic news.