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Do oil prices respond to real interest rates?

  • Arora, Vipin
  • Tanner, Matthew

We show that the robustness of an inverse relationship between the real interest rate and real oil price depends crucially on how the real interest rate is calculated, and the time-frame of the sample. Consistent with earlier studies, we find that the oil price falls with an unexpected rise in either U.S. or international ex-ante real interest rates. When the ex-post real interest rate is used, the oil price only falls with rises to short-term rates (3months or less). Additionally, the response of the oil price to long-term ex-ante real interest rates must include the period through the mid-2000s for the inverse relationship to appear. In contrast, the oil price consistently falls with unexpected rises in short-term real interest rates throughout the entire sample. We draw two conclusions from the results. The first is that the oil price is consistently responsive to short-term U.S. and international real interest rates, underlying the importance of storage. Second, oil prices have become more responsive to long-term real interest rates over time.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 546-555

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:546-555
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eneco

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  1. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian & Robert J. Vigfusson, 2011. "Forecasting the price of oil," International Finance Discussion Papers 1022, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Arora, Vipin & Tyers, Rod, 2012. "Asset arbitrage and the price of oil," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 142-150.
  3. Vipin Arora, 2011. "Asset Value, Interest Rates and Oil Price Volatility," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2011-536, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  4. Alessio Anzuini & Marco J. Lombardi & Patrizio Pagano, 2012. "The impact of monetary policy shocks on commodity prices," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 851, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  5. Margaret E. Slade & Henry Thille, 2009. "Whither Hotelling: Tests of the Theory of Exhaustible Resources," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 239-259, 09.
  6. Ansgar Belke & Ingo G. Bordon & Torben W. Hendricks, 2009. "Global Liquidity and Commodity Prices – A Cointegrated VAR Approach for OECD Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 0102, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  7. Akram, Q. Farooq, 2009. "Commodity prices, interest rates and the dollar," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 838-851, November.
  8. repec:acb:camaaa:2011-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Ke Tang & Wei Xiong, 2010. "Index Investment and Financialization of Commodities," NBER Working Papers 16385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Shi, Shuping & Arora, Vipin, 2012. "An application of models of speculative behaviour to oil prices," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(3), pages 469-472.
  11. Hamilton, James D & Herrera, Ana Maria, 2004. "Oil Shocks and Aggregate Macroeconomic Behavior: The Role of Monetary Policy: Comment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 265-86, April.
  12. Christopher Reicher & Johannes Utlaut, 2010. "The relationship between oil prices and long-term interest rates," Kiel Working Papers 1637, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  13. Bernanke, Ben S & Gertler, Mark & Watson, Mark W, 2004. "Oil Shocks and Aggregate Macroeconomic Behavior: The Role of Monetary Policy: Reply," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 287-91, April.
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