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Monetary Policy Responses to Oil Price Fluctuations

  • Martin Bodenstein
  • Luca Guerrieri
  • Lutz Kilian

The paper provides the first quantitative analysis of how U.S. monetary policy responses should differ depending on the source of the observed oil price fluctuations. It presents three main sets of results. First, the paper proposes a novel decomposition of the marginal cost of production that highlights the role of each factor input for the evolution of inflation. Second, conditional on an estimated interest rate policy reaction function, the paper demonstrates that no two structural shocks induce the same monetary policy response, even after controlling for the impact response of the real price of oil, and quantifies these differences. Third, the paper shows that the policy responses implied by a policy rule, whose coefficients were chosen to maximize U.S. welfare, differ substantially from the policy response implied by the same rule estimated on historical data. Among a wide range of rules, a rule that is easily implementable and that nearly maximizes U.S. welfare involves the Federal Reserve putting zero weight on the price of oil and responding to wage inflation without interest rate smoothing.

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Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal IMF Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 60 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 470-504

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Handle: RePEc:pal:imfecr:v:60:y:2012:i:4:p:470-504
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  1. Lutz Kilian & Logan T. Lewis, 2011. "Does the Fed Respond to Oil Price Shocks?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 1047-1072, 09.
  2. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2002. "Global Implications Of Self-Oriented National Monetary Rules," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 503-535, May.
  3. Rotemberg, Julio J & Woodford, Michael, 1996. "Imperfect Competition and the Effects of Energy Price Increases on Economic Activity," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 28(4), pages 550-77, November.
  4. Jean-Marc Natal, 2009. "Monetary policy response to oil price shocks," Working Paper Series 2009-16, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Carlstrom, Charles T. & Fuerst, Timothy S., 2006. "Oil Prices, Monetary Policy, and Counterfactual Experiments," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1945-1958, October.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  7. Montoro, Carlos, 2012. "Oil Shocks And Optimal Monetary Policy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 240-277, April.
  8. Michael Bruno & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1985. "Economics of Worldwide Stagflation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brun85-1, August.
  9. Kilian, Lutz, 2009. "Oil Price Shocks, Monetary Policy and Stagflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7324, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Luca Guerrieri & Christopher Erceg & Martin Bodenstein, 2008. "Oil Shocks and External Adjustment," 2008 Meeting Papers 945, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Anna Kormilitsina, 2009. "Oil Price Shocks and the Optimality of Monetary Policy," Departmental Working Papers 0901, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  13. Sylvain Leduc & Keith Sill, 2001. "A quantitative analysis of oil-price shocks, systematic monetary policy, and economic downturns," Working Papers 01-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  14. Bassam Fattouh, Lutz Kilian, and Lavan Mahadeva, 2013. "The Role of Speculation in Oil Markets: What Have We Learned So Far?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
  15. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Economic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. 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.
  17. Backus, David K. & Crucini, Mario J., 2000. "Oil prices and the terms of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 185-213, February.
  18. Pedro A. Almoguera & Christopher C. Douglas & Ana María Herrera, 2011. "Testing for the cartel in OPEC: non-cooperative collusion or just non-cooperative?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(1), pages 144-168, Spring.
  19. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian, 2010. "What do we learn from the price of crude oil futures?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 539-573.
  20. James L. Smith, 2003. "Inscrutable OPEC? Behavioral Tests of the Cartel Hypothesis," Working Papers 0305, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  21. Christopher Erceg & Luca Guerrieri & Steven B. Kamin, 2011. "Did Easy Money in the Dollar Bloc Fuel the Oil Price Run-Up?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(1), pages 131-160, March.
  22. Lutz Kilian & Daniel P. Murphy, 2014. "The Role Of Inventories And Speculative Trading In The Global Market For Crude Oil," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 454-478, 04.
  23. repec:inu:caeprp:2009-016 is not listed on IDEAS
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