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Pass-Through of Oil Prices to Japanese Domestic Prices

In: Commodity Prices and Markets, East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 20

  • Etsuro Shioji
  • Taisuke Uchino

In this paper, we investigate changes in the impacts of world crude oil prices on domestic prices in Japan. First, we employ a time-varying parameter VAR (TVP-VAR) approach to confirm that the rate of pass-through of oil prices declined, both at the aggregate and sectoral levels, for the period 1980-2000. Second, by utilizing Input-Output Tables, we find that changing cost structure of Japanese firms goes a long way toward explaining this decline. That is, by the year 2000, oil had become a much smaller component of the Japanese production cost structure. We further find that much of this is attributable to changes in relative prices: as oil became cheaper, it became less important in the overall cost structure, and thus pricing behaviors of firms became less responsive to its prices. Substitution effects, namely firms' shifts toward less oil intensive production, on the other hand, appear to be less important. We also study the period 2000-2007. We find that, although pass-through rates of oil prices increase in many instances, those increases are small in comparison to the drastic resurgence of oil in the cost structure of firms. We present some possible explanations for this finding.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Takatoshi Ito & Andrew K. Rose, 2011. "Commodity Prices and Markets, East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 20," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ito_09-1, Abril.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11880.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11880
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jordi Gali, 2007. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Oil Shocks: Why are the 2000s So Different from the 1970s?," NBER Working Papers 13368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alan S. Blinder & Jeremy B. Rudd, 2008. "The Supply-Shock Explanation of the Great Stagflation Revisited," NBER Working Papers 14563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jongwanich, Juthathip & Park, Donghyun, 2009. "Inflation in developing Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 507-518, September.
    4. Kilian, Lutz, 2007. "The Economic Effects of Energy Price Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 6559, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 1999. "Measurement Errors in the Japanese Consumer Price Index," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 17(3), pages 69-102, December.
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