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Causes and Consequences of the Oil Shock of 2007-08

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  • James D. Hamilton

Abstract

This paper explores similarities and differences between the run-up of oil prices in 2007â??08 and earlier oil price shocks, looking at what caused the price increase and what effects it had on the economy. Whereas historical oil price shocks were primarily caused by physical disruptions of supply, the price run-up of 2007â??08 was caused by strong demand confronting stagnating world production. Although the causes were different, the consequences for the economy appear to have been very similar to those observed in earlier episodes, with significant effects on overall consumption spending and purchases of domestic automobiles in particular. In the absence of those declines, it is unlikely that we would have characterized the period 2007:Q4 to 2008:Q3 as one of economic recession for the United States. The experience of 2007â??08 should thus be added to the list of recessions to which oil prices appear to have made a material contribution.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution in its journal Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.

Volume (Year): 40 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring) ()
Pages: 215-283

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Handle: RePEc:bin:bpeajo:v:40:y:2009:i:2009-01:p:215-283

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Keywords: macroeconomics; oil; production; recession; consumption spending;

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References

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  1. James D. Hamilton, 2000. "What is an Oil Shock?," NBER Working Papers 7755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Oil Price Shocks: Why are the 2000s so different from the 1970s?," Working Papers 0711, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  3. Kilian, Lutz, 2005. "Exogenous Oil Supply Shocks: How Big Are They and How Much do they Matter for the US Economy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Robert B. Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2001. "Do We Really Know that Oil Caused the Great Stagflation? A Monetary Alternative," NBER Working Papers 8389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2006. "The Effect of Monetary Policy on Real Commodity Prices," NBER Working Papers 12713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
  7. Alan S. Blinder & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2008. "The Supply Shock Explanation of the Great Stagflation Revisited," Working Papers 1097, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  8. Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel & Daniel Sperling, 2008. "Evidence of a Shift in the Short-Run Price Elasticity of Gasoline Demand," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 113-134.
  9. Edelstein, Paul & Kilian, Lutz, 2007. "Retail Energy Prices and Consumer Expenditures," CEPR Discussion Papers 6255, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Dahl, Carol & Sterner, Thomas, 1991. "Analysing gasoline demand elasticities: a survey," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 203-210, July.
  11. Brons, Martijn & Nijkamp, Peter & Pels, Eric & Rietveld, Piet, 2008. "A meta-analysis of the price elasticity of gasoline demand. A SUR approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 2105-2122, September.
  12. Edward E. Leamer, 2008. "What's a Recession, Anyway?," NBER Working Papers 14221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hamilton, James D, 1983. "Oil and the Macroeconomy since World War II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 228-48, April.
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