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Why Agnostic Sign Restrictions Are Not Enough: Understanding The Dynamics Of Oil Market Var Models

  • Lutz Kilian
  • Daniel P. Murphy

Sign restrictions on the responses generated by structural vector autoregressive models have been proposed as an alternative approach to the use of exclusion restrictions on the impact multiplier matrix. In recent years such models have been increasingly used to identify demand and supply shocks in the market for crude oil. We demonstrate that sign restrictions alone are insufficient to infer the responses of the real price of oil to such shocks. Moreover, the conventional assumption that all admissible models are equally likely is routinely violated in oil market models, calling into question the use of median responses to characterize the responses to structural shocks. When combining sign restrictions with additional empirically plausible bounds on the magnitude of the short-run oil supply elasticity and on the impact response of real activity, however, it is possible to reduce the set of admissible model solutions to a small number of qualitatively similar estimates. The resulting model estimates are broadly consistent with earlier results regarding the relative importance of demand and supply shocks for the real price of oil based on structural VAR models identified by exclusion restrictions, but imply very different dynamics from the median responses in VAR models based on sign restrictions only.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1542-4774.2012.01080.x
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Article provided by European Economic Association in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 1166-1188

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:10:y:2012:i:5:p:1166-1188
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  1. G. Peersman & I. Van Robays & -, 2009. "Cross-Country Differences in the Effects of Oil Shocks," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/629, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  2. Gert Peersman & Ine Van Robays, 2009. "Oil and the Euro area economy," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 24, pages 603-651, October.
  3. Peersman, Gert, 2003. "What Caused the Early Millennium Slowdown? Evidence Based on Vector Autoregressions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4087, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. Lutz Kilian, 2008. "The Economic Effects of Energy Price Shocks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 871-909, December.
  6. Scholl, Almuth & Uhlig, Harald, 2008. "New evidence on the puzzles: Results from agnostic identification on monetary policy and exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 1-13, September.
  7. Gert Peersman & Christiane Baumeister, 2009. "Time-Varying Effects of Oil Supply Shocks on the US Economy," 2009 Meeting Papers 171, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Goncalves, Silvia & Kilian, Lutz, 2004. "Bootstrapping autoregressions with conditional heteroskedasticity of unknown form," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 89-120, November.
  9. Christiane Baumeister & Gert Peersman & Ine Van Robays, 2010. "The Economic Consequences of Oil Shocks: Differences across Countries and Time," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Renée Fry & Callum Jones & Christopher Kent (ed.), Inflation in an Era of Relative Price Shocks Reserve Bank of Australia.
  10. Kilian, Lutz & Rebucci, Alessandro & Spatafora, Nikola, 2007. "Oil Shocks and External Balances," CEPR Discussion Papers 6303, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jon Faust, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," International Finance Discussion Papers 610, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Lucas W. Davis & Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Estimating the Effect of a Gasoline Tax on Carbon Emissions," NBER Working Papers 14685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Francesco Lippi & Andrea Nobili, 2012. "Oil And The Macroeconomy: A Quantitative Structural Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1059-1083, October.
  14. C. Baumeister & G. Peersman & -, 2010. "Sources of the Volatility Puzzle in the Crude Oil Market," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 10/634, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  15. Neville Francis & Michael T. Owyang & Jennifer E. Roush, 2005. "A flexible finite-horizon identification of technology shocks," International Finance Discussion Papers 832, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Daniel Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006. "Markov-Switching Structural Vector Autoregressions: Theory and Application," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 69, Society for Computational Economics.
  17. Alquist, Ron & Kilian, Lutz, 2007. "What Do We Learn from the Price of Crude Oil Futures?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. 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.
  19. Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Erceg & Martin Bodenstein, 2008. "Oil Shocks and External Adjustment," 2008 Meeting Papers 945, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Lutz Kilian, 2010. "Explaining Fluctuations in Gasoline Prices: A Joint Model of the Global Crude Oil Market and the U.S. Retail Gasoline Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 87-112.
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