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Historical Causes of Postwar Oil Shocks and Recessions

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  • James D. Hamilton

Abstract

Turbulent petroleum markets and poor economic performance have been making headlines for the last decade. Three major oil shocks (1973-1974, 1979, and 1980-1981) have each been followed by major recessions. While the magnitude and violence of recent oil price changes are unique in postwar experience, the phenomenon of political instability producing disruptions in petroleum supply is not. Hamilton (1983a) observed that all but one of the recessions in the United States since World War II were preceded-typically by about nine months-by a dramatic increase in the price of crude petroleum (see Figure 1).

Suggested Citation

  • James D. Hamilton, 1985. "Historical Causes of Postwar Oil Shocks and Recessions," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 97-116.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:1985v06-01-a09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Berndt, Ernst R, 1976. "Reconciling Alternative Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(1), pages 59-68, February.
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    3. Ronald E. Findlay & Carlos Alfredo Rodriguez, 1977. "Intermediate Imports and Macroeconomic Policy under Flexible Exchange Rates," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(2), pages 208-217, May.
    4. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Changes in Income Taxes in the Short and Medium Runs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages 71-85, April.
    5. Hall, Robert E & Lilien, David M, 1979. "Efficient Wage Bargains under Uncertain Supply and Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 868-879, December.
    6. Stephen M. Goldfeld, 1976. "The Case of the Missing Money," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 7(3), pages 683-740.
    7. Daniel J.B. Mitchell, 1978. "Union Wage Determination: Policy Implications and Outlook," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(3), pages 537-582.
    8. Robert J. Gordon, 1970. "The Recent Acceleration of Inflation and Its Lessons for the Future," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 1(1), pages 8-47.
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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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