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Does the Fed Respond to Oil Price Shocks?

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  • Kilian, Lutz
  • Lewis, Logan

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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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7594.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7594

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Keywords: Counterfactual; Oil; Recessions; Systematic Monetary Policy; Temporal Instability;

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References

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  1. Kilian, Lutz, 2009. "Oil Price Shocks, Monetary Policy and Stagflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7324, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Goncalves, Silvia & Kilian, Lutz, 2004. "Bootstrapping autoregressions with conditional heteroskedasticity of unknown form," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 89-120, November.
  3. Anton Nakov & Andrea Pescatori, 2007. "Inflation-output gap trade-off with a dominant oil supplier," Working Paper 0710, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  4. Lutz Kilian & Alessandro Rebucci & Nikola Spatafora, 2007. "Oil Shocks and External Balances," Working Papers 562, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  5. Bańbura, Marta & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2008. "Large Bayesian VARs," Working Paper Series 0966, European Central Bank.
  6. Angelini, Elena & Henry, Jérôme & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2003. "Interpolation and backdating with a large information set," Working Paper Series 0252, European Central Bank.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Kilian, Lutz & Vigfusson, Robert J., 2009. "Pitfalls in Estimating Asymmetric Effects of Energy Price Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.).
  13. 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.
  14. Robert B. Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2004. "Oil and the Macroeconomy Since the 1970s," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 115-134, Fall.
  15. Leduc, Sylvain & Sill, Keith, 2004. "A quantitative analysis of oil-price shocks, systematic monetary policy, and economic downturns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 781-808, May.
  16. Robert B. Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2002. "Do We Really Know that Oil Caused the Great Stagflation? A Monetary Alternative," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 137-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. James D. Hamilton, 2000. "What is an Oil Shock?," NBER Working Papers 7755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Lutz Kilian, 2008. "The Economic Effects of Energy Price Shocks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 871-909, December.
  19. 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.
  20. repec:acb:camaaa:2010-38 is not listed on IDEAS
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