Matteo Iacoviello: Geopolitical Risk Index



Architecture

Geopolitical Risk (GPR) Index

Overview

Dario Caldara and Matteo Iacoviello construct a monthly index of Geopolitical Risk (GPR Index) counting the occurrence of words related to geopolitical tensions in leading international newspapers. The GPR index spikes around the Gulf War, after 9/11, during the 2003 Iraq invasion, during the 2014 Russia-Ukraine crisis, and after the Paris terrorist attacks.

The Benchmark Index (GPR) uses 11 newspapers and starts in 1985.
The Historical Index (GPRH) uses 3 newspapers and starts in 1899.
A summary presentation in our slides can be found here (November 2017).
This is work in progress. We welcome kudos, comments, and suggestions!

Cite as: Caldara, Dario and Matteo Iacoviello, “Measuring Geopolitical Risk," working paper, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board, November 2017

Description

The Caldara and Iacoviello GPR index reflects automated text-search results of the electronic archives of 11 national and international newspapers: The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Caldara and Iacoviello calculate the index by counting the number of articles related to geopolitical risk in each newspaper for each month (as a share of the total number of news articles). The index is then normalized to average a value of 100 in the 2000-2009 decade.
The search identifies articles containing references to six groups of words: Group 1 includes words associated with explicit mentions of geopolitical risk, as well as mentions of military-related tensions involving large regions of the world and a U.S. involvement. Group 2 includes words directly related to nuclear tensions. Groups 3 and 4 include mentions related to war threats and terrorist threats, respectively. Finally, Groups 5 and 6 aim at capturing press coverage of actual adverse geopolitical events (as opposed to just risks) which can be reasonably expected to lead to increases in geopolitical uncertainty, such as terrorist acts or the beginning of a war.
Based on the search groups above, Caldara and Iacoviello further disentangle the direct effect of adverse geopolitical events from the effect of pure geopolitical risks by constructing two indexes. The Geopolitical Threats (GPT) index only includes words belonging to Search groups 1 to 4 above. The Geopolitical Acts (GPA) index only includes words belonging to Search groups 5 and 6.

Our (preliminary) audit guidelines can be found here.

Data

Our data, updated through the end of October 2017 (and including preliminary November 2017 data using searches until November 10th), can be found here [last update: Nov11,2017]. (The main data are updated for each month around the 10th of the following month.) The data also include (beta-version) country-specific GPR indices for 18 emerging economies (Caldara, Iacoviello and Aaron Markiewitz, "Country-Specific Geopolitical Risk")

Charts: Benchmark (1985-) and Historical (1899-) Indexes


Citations

(1) Die Welt (August 2016)
(2) Mark Carney, Bank of England; (September 2016)
(3) Kristin Forbes, Bank of England; (November 2016)
(4) ECB 2017 Economic Bulletin; (April 2017)
(5) ZeroHedge; (May 2017)
(6) National Minimum Wages Commission of Mexico (June 2017)
(7) Mark Carney, Bank of England; (June 2017)
(8) Policy Uncertainty Website; (July 2017)
(9) Allianz Economic Insight (July 2017)
(10) Moody's Analytics Macro Press, Volume 22, Number 4 (July 2017)

(11) Business Insider "The world is now more unstable than during the Vietnam War" (July 7, 2017)
(12) BOA/Merrill Lynch Weekly Newsletter ("Geopolitical Risk Index has been on the rise", August 2017)
(13) State Street Global Advisors ("Goldilocks and Three Potential Bears" August 2017)
(14) Stratas Advisors ("Market Commentary" August 2017)
(15) Express Business Netherlands ("Geopolitical Risk Index (GPR) op hoogste niveau sinds Irak-invasie" August 2017)
(16) Schroders ("Gold and broader market commentary" September 2017)
(17) Fundspeople.com ("Riesgo político: esta vez los inversores institucionales sí creen que viene el lobo" September 2017)
(18) EFG International ("Stable Economies, Disruptive Trends" September 2017)
(19) IMF (WEO, Chapter 1, October 2017)
(20) Verus Investment ("Investment Landscape Call", October 2017)

(21) UBS Asset Management ("The Complacency Conundrum", October 2017)
(22) Central Bank of Iceland ("Report", November 2017)
(23) Fidelity International ("Investment Outlook", November 2017)

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