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Does the Fed Respond to Oil Price Shocks?

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  • Lutz Kilian
  • Logan T. Lewis

Abstract

Since Bernanke, Gertler and Watson (1997), a common view in the literature has been that systematic monetary policy responses to the inflation triggered by oil price shocks are an important source of aggregate fluctuations in the U.S. economy. We show that there is no evidence of systematic monetary policy responses to oil price shocks after 1987 and that this lack of a policy response is unlikely to be explained by reduced real wage rigidities. Prior to 1987, according to standard VAR models, the Federal Reserve was not responding to the inflation triggered by oil price shocks, as commonly presumed, but rather to the oil price shocks directly, consistent with a preemptive move by the Federal Reserve to counteract potential inflationary pressures. There are indications that this response is poorly identified, however, and there is no evidence that this policy response in the pre-1987 period caused substantial fluctuations in the Federal Funds rate or in real output. Our analysis suggests that the traditional monetary policy reaction framework explored by BGW and incorporated in subsequent DSGE models should be replaced by DSGE models that take account of the endogeneity of the real price of oil and that allow policy responses to depend on the underlying causes of oil price shocks.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 121 (2011)
Issue (Month): 555 (09)
Pages: 1047-1072

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:121:y:2011:i:555:p:1047-1072

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References

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  1. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Pitfalls in Estimating Asymmetric Effects of Energy Price Shocks," 2009 Meeting Papers 473, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Anton Nakov & Andrea Pescatori, 2007. "Inflation-output gap trade-off with a dominant oil supplier," Working Paper 0710, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. GONÇALVES, Silvia & KILIAN, Lutz, 2003. "Bootstrapping Autoregressions with Conditional Heteroskedasticity of Unknown Form," Cahiers de recherche 2003-01, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  4. Kilian, Lutz, 2006. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Sylvain Leduc & Keith Sill, 2001. "A quantitative analysis of oil-price shocks, systematic monetary policy, and economic downturns," Working Papers 01-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  6. Lutz Kilian & Clara Vega, 2011. "Do Energy Prices Respond to U.S. Macroeconomic News? A Test of the Hypothesis of Predetermined Energy Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 660-671, May.
  7. Kilian, Lutz, 2007. "The Economic Effects of Energy Price Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 6559, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Domenico Giannone & Martha Banbura & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "Bayesian VARs with large panels," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13388, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Kilian, Lutz, 2009. "Oil Price Shocks, Monetary Policy and Stagflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7324, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. International Monetary Fund, 2007. "Oil Shocks and External Balances," IMF Working Papers 07/110, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Marta Bańbura, 2008. "Large Bayesian VARs," 2008 Meeting Papers 334, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Robert Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2004. "Oil and the Macroeconomy Since the 1970s," NBER Working Papers 10855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Martin Bodenstein & Christopher J. Erceg & Luca Guerrieri, 2007. "Oil shocks and external adjustment," International Finance Discussion Papers 897, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. 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.
  15. Edelstein, Paul & Kilian, Lutz, 2009. "How sensitive are consumer expenditures to retail energy prices?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 766-779, September.
  16. Hamilton, James D., 2003. "What is an oil shock?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 363-398, April.
  17. Angelini, Elena & Henry, Jérôme & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2003. "Interpolation and backdating with a large information set," Working Paper Series 0252, European Central Bank.
  18. Kilian, Lutz, 2005. "The Effects of Exogenous Oil Supply Shocks on Output and Inflation: Evidence from the G7 Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 5404, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Herrera, Ana María & Pesavento, Elena, 2009. "Oil Price Shocks, Systematic Monetary Policy, And The “Great Moderation”," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 107-137, February.
  20. Renee Fry & Callum Jones & Christopher Kent, 2010. "Inflation in an Era of Relative Pirce Shocks," CAMA Working Papers 2010-38, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  21. repec:acb:camaaa:2010-38 is not listed on IDEAS
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