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Crude substitution: The cyclical dynamics of oil prices and the skill premium

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  • Polgreen, Linnea
  • Silos, Pedro

Abstract

At the business cycle frequency, energy prices and the skill premium display a strong, negative correlation. This fact is robust to different de-trending procedures. Identifying exogenous shocks to oil prices using the Hoover-Perez [1994. Post hoc ergo propter once more: an evaluation of [`]Does monetary policy matter?' in the spirit of James Tobin. Journal of Monetary Econonmics 34, 47-73] dates, shows that the skill premium falls in response to such a shock. The estimation of the parameters of an aggregate technology that uses, among other inputs, energy and heterogeneous skills, demonstrates that capital-skill and capital-energy complementarity are responsible for this correlation. As energy prices rise, the use of capital decreases and the demand for unskilled labor--relative to skilled labor--increases, lowering the skill premium.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Monetary Economics.

Volume (Year): 56 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 409-418

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Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:56:y:2009:i:3:p:409-418

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505566

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Keywords: Skill heterogeneity Energy prices Business cycles Capital-skill complementarity;

References

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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-62, June.
  2. Matthew J. Lindquist, 2004. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality Over the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(3), pages 519-540, July.
  3. Wendy Edelberg & Martin Eichenbaum & Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1999. "Understanding the Effects of a Shock to Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(1), pages 166-206, January.
  4. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Keane, Michael P & Prasad, Eswar S, 1996. "The Employment and Wage Effects of Oil Price Changes: A Sectoral Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 389-400, August.
  6. Ramey, Valerie A. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 1998. "Costly capital reallocation and the effects of government spending," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 145-194, June.
  7. Linnea Polgreen & Pedro Silos, 2005. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a sensitivity analysis," Working Paper 2005-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Mark Watson, 1997. "Systematic Monetary Policy and the Effects of Oil Price Shocks," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 91-157.
  9. Hoover, Kevin D. & Perez, Stephen J., 1994. "Post hoc ergo propter once more an evaluation of 'does monetary policy matter?' in the spirit of James Tobin," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 47-74, August.
  10. Dennis, Enid & Smith, V Kerry, 1978. "A Neoclassical Analysis of the Demand for Real Cash Balances by Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 793-813, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Ordóñez, Javier & Sala, Hector & Silva, José I., 2010. "Oil Price Shocks and Labor Market Fluctuations," IZA Discussion Papers 5096, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Matthias Kehrig & Nicolas Vincent, 2013. "Disentangling Labor Supply and Demand Shifts Using Spatial Wage Dispersion: The Case of Oil Price Shocks," Working Papers 13-57, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Mandelman, Federico S. & Zlate, Andrei, 2012. "Immigration, remittances and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 196-213.
  4. Pedro Silos & Karsten Jeske & Rajeev Dhawan, 2008. "Productivity, Energy Prices and the Great Moderation: A New Link," 2008 Meeting Papers 877, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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