US Policy Categories

Download Categorical US EPU Data

Categorical EPU Data

The Categorical Data include a range of sub-indexes based solely on news data. These are derived using results from the Access World News database of over 2,000 US newspapers. Each sub-index requires our economic, uncertainty, and policy terms as well as a set of categorical policy terms. For instance, articles that fulfil our requirements to be coded as EPU and also contain the term 'federal reserve' would be included in the monetary policy uncertainty sub-index.

Each categorical series is multiplicatively normalized to have a mean of 100 from 1985-2010.

A full list of terms can be found at: Categorical Term List. These terms can also be found in Appendix B of our main paper, Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty.

Other EPU Categories: Migration Fears and EPU (NEW)

Download Migration Fear and EPU Data for France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S.

See more details about our Immigration Fear and Migration EPU data: Immigration Fear and EPU

Other EPU Categories: Debt Ceiling and Government Shutdown

Download Debt Ceiling and Government Shutdown Data

Here we have collected data on the number of mentions of "government shutdown" or "debt ceiling" in newspapers across the United States since January 1985 until November 2015. The series are collected in the data file above, with each series comprising the number of articles containing the given terms divided by the total number of news articles that month.

We find only sporadic mentions of these terms in most years (see graph below; download pdf here), but find a large spike in talk of a government shutdown in 1995, when a shutdown did occur. Similarly, we saw a dramatic increase in mentions of the government shutdown during late 2013. Discussions of the debt ceiling peaked in the summer of 2011 but have also seen large increases in the past months with the latest protracted debt ceiling debates in Congress.

Despite the evident surge in mentions of the debt ceiling and of government shutdown, our news-based Economic Policy Uncertainty index does not seem to greatly underestimate levels of EPU in recent months, despite not including debt ceiling or shutdown terms. Ratios of our baseline EPU series to a version including "debt ceiling" or "government shutdown" terms are also included in the data file above.

These series are based on newspaper archives from Access World New's NewsBank service. The NewsBank Access World News database contains the archives of thousands of newspapers and other news sources from across the globe. While NewsBank has a wide range of news sources, from newspapers to magazines to newswire services, we conduct our analysis only utilizing newspaper sources.

We restrict our attention to newspapers in the United States, of which NewsBank covers well over 1000. These newspapers range from large national papers like USA Today to small local newspapers across the country. The data spans from 1985 to 2015.