Gil-Silva Uncertainty Indices for Colombia

Download Data              Annotated Colombia EPU Index             Paper

We are pleased to host newspaper-based indices of Economic Policy Uncertainty for Colombia developed by Mauricio Gil and Daniel Silva.

Gil and Silva follow the methods in "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty" by Scott Baker, Nick Bloom and Steven J. Davis to construct monthly, quarterly and annual indices that run from 2000 onwards. They draw on digital archives for El Tiempo, a leading national newspaper in Colombia. El Tiempo is a daily publication that covers national and international news. It is the only such Colombian newspaper with a digital archive that covers the entire period since 2000.

Gil and Silva use the Spanish-language equivalents of four term sets:

  • Economics (E): Any word that begins with "econ"
  • Policy (P): politics, politician, government, tax, reform, fiscal deficit, public debt, public spending, Congress, crisis, Bank of the Republic, Ministry of Finance, corruption, peace, conflict, subsidy
  • Uncertainty (U): uncertainty, uncertain
  • Colombia (C): Any word that begins with "Colombia"

To construct their EPU Index for Colombia, they first obtain a monthly count of articles that contain at least one term from each of the E, P, and U sets. They scale this raw EPU count by the number of all articles in the same month. Next, they standardize the scaled frequency counts to unit standard deviation from 2000 to 2017. They normalize the series to have a mean of 100 over the same period. They repeat this process for quarterly and annual versions of their EPU index. For their EPUC indices, their first step also requires that an article have at least one term from the C term set.

They have also written a Spanish-language article regarding their index and findings.