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Oil price volatility and U.S. macroeconomic activity

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  • Hui Guo
  • Kevin L. Kliesen

Abstract

Oil shocks exert influence on macroeconomic activity through various channels, many of which imply a symmetric effect. However, the effect can also be asymmetric. In particular, sharp oil price changes-either increases or decreases-may reduce aggregate output temporarily because they delay business investment by raising uncertainty or induce costly sectoral resource reallocation. Consistent with these asymmetric-effect hypotheses, the authors find that a volatility measure constructed using daily crude oil futures prices has a negative and significant effect on future gross domestic product (GDP) growth over the period 1984-2004. Moreover, the effect becomes more significant after oil price changes are also included in the regression to control for the symmetric effect. The evidence here provides economic rationales for Hamilton's (2003) nonlinear oil shock measure: It captures overall effects, both symmetric and asymmetric, of oil price shocks on output.

Suggested Citation

  • Hui Guo & Kevin L. Kliesen, 2005. "Oil price volatility and U.S. macroeconomic activity," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 669-684.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2005:i:nov:p:669-84:n:v.87no.6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin Neil Baily, 1981. "Productivity and the Services of Capital and Labor," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 1-66.
    2. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
    3. Peter Ferderer, J., 1996. "Oil price volatility and the macroeconomy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26.
    4. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold & Paul Labys, 2003. "Modeling and Forecasting Realized Volatility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(2), pages 579-625, March.
    5. Michael J. Dueker, 1997. "Strengthening the case for the yield curve as a predictor of U.S. recessions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 41-51.
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