Scott Baker, Nicholas Bloom, Steven Davis, Marco Sammon, 21 May 2021

When the stock market moves in a big way, journalists try to explain why. This column uses next-day newspaper accounts to characterise the drivers of more than 6,000 big daily moves (‘jumps’) across 16 national stock markets. Policy-driven jumps account for a greater share of upward than downward jumps in all countries. Jumps attributed to monetary policy foreshadow much lower levels of future stock market volatility than other jumps. In another striking pattern, US-related news drives one-third of national stock market jumps in other countries, emphasising the role of the US in the international monetary and financial system.

Dominic Rohner, Alessandro Saia, 05 May 2019

It is widely believed that education is a crucial factor in curbing political violence, but establishing causal evidence of this notoriously difficult. This column uses a large-scale school construction programme in Indonesia and newspaper reports of violence to tackle this problem. The results show that the construction of primary schools led to statistically significant reductions in conflict that grew larger over time. 

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