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Exogenous Oil Supply Shocks: How Big Are They and How Much Do They Matter for the U.S. Economy?


  • Lutz Kilian

    (University of Michigan and CEPR)


The paper proposes a new measure of exogenous oil supply shocks. The timing, the magnitude, and the sign of this measure may differ greatly from current state-of-the-art estimates. It is shown that only a small fraction of the observed oil price increases during oil crisis periods can be attributed to exogenous oil production disruptions. Exogenous oil supply shocks cause a sharp drop of U.S. real GDP growth after five quarters rather than an immediate and sustained reduction in economic growth and a spike in CPI inflation after three quarters. Overall, exogenous oil supply shocks made remarkably little difference for the evolution of the U.S. economy since the 1970s, although they did matter for some historical episodes. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Lutz Kilian, 2008. "Exogenous Oil Supply Shocks: How Big Are They and How Much Do They Matter for the U.S. Economy?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 216-240, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:90:y:2008:i:2:p:216-240

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hamilton, James D., 1996. "This is what happened to the oil price-macroeconomy relationship," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 215-220, October.
    2. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Mark Watson, 1997. "Systematic Monetary Policy and the Effects of Oil Price Shocks," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 91-157.
    3. Matthew Shapiro & Mark Watson, 1988. "Sources of Business Cycles Fluctuations," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 111-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Davis, Steven J. & Haltiwanger, John, 2001. "Sectoral job creation and destruction responses to oil price changes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 465-512, December.
    5. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-529, October.
    7. Hamilton, James D., 2003. "What is an oil shock?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 363-398, April.
    8. Kiseok Lee & Shawn Ni & Ronald A. Ratti, 1995. "Oil Shocks and the Macroeconomy: The Role of Price Variability," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 39-56.
    9. Mork, Knut Anton, 1989. "Oil and Macroeconomy When Prices Go Up and Down: An Extension of Hamilton's Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 740-744, June.
    10. Cragg, John G. & Donald, Stephen G., 1993. "Testing Identifiability and Specification in Instrumental Variable Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 222-240, April.
    11. repec:cup:etheor:v:9:y:1993:i:2:p:222-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Hamilton, James D, 1983. "Oil and the Macroeconomy since World War II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 228-248, April.
    13. Lee, Kiseok & Ni, Shawn, 2002. "On the dynamic effects of oil price shocks: a study using industry level data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 823-852, May.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


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