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Another Pass-Through Bites the Dust? Oil Prices and Inflation

  • Jose De Gregorio.
  • Oscar Landerretche.
  • Christopher Neilson.

This paper presents evidence of an important decline during recent decades in the pass-through from the price of oil to the general price level. We find that this decline is a generalized fact for a large set of countries. After documenting correlations between the consumer price index and oil prices, we use two estimation strategies in an attempt to properly identify the effect of oil shocks on inflation. First, we estimate the traditional Phillips curve augmented to include oil and test for structural breaks in 34 countries. This methodology shows a fall in the average estimated passthrough for industrial economies and, to a lesser degree, for emerging economies. Second, we estimate rolling vector autoregressions for a subsample of countries for which we have sufficient data. We derive impulse response functions of inflation to oil shocks and interpret the integrals as estimates of pass-through. We find that the effect of oil shocks on inflation has weakened for most of the 12 countries in the sample. Among the factors that might help to explain this decline, we argue that the most important are a reduction in the oil intensity of economies around the world, a reduction in the exchange rate pass-through, a more favorable inflation environment, and the fact that the current oil price shock is largely the result of strong world demand. These factors help to explain not only why the current shock has had limited inflationary effects, but also why it has had limited consequences for output.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 417.

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Date of creation: May 2007
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:417
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  1. Kenneth Rogoff, 2003. "Globalization and global disinflation," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q IV, pages 45-78.
  2. Kim, Soyoung & Roubini, Nouriel, 2000. "Exchange rate anomalies in the industrial countries: A solution with a structural VAR approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 561-586, June.
  3. Herrera, Ana Maria & Hamilton, James D., 2001. "Oil Shocks and Aggregate Macroeconomic Behavior: The Role of Monetary Policy," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt4qp0p0v5, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  4. Ariel Burstein & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2004. "Large Devaluations and the Real Exchange Rate," RCER Working Papers 513, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. Dalia Hakura & Ehsan U. Choudhri, 2001. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through to Domestic Prices; Does the Inflationary Environment Matter?," IMF Working Papers 01/194, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  7. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
  8. 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.
  9. BAI, Jushan & PERRON, Pierre, 1998. "Computation and Analysis of Multiple Structural-Change Models," Cahiers de recherche 9807, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  10. Ilan Goldfajn & Sergio R.C. Werlang, 2000. "The pass-through from depreciation to inflation : a panel study," Textos para discussão 423, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  11. Hooker, Mark A, 2002. "Are Oil Shocks Inflationary? Asymmetric and Nonlinear Specifications versus Changes in Regime," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(2), pages 540-61, May.
  12. Michael C. Davis & James D. Hamilton, 2003. "Why Are Prices Sticky? The Dynamics of Wholesale Gasoline Prices," NBER Working Papers 9741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Frankel, Jeffrey & Parsley, David & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2005. "Slow Passthrough Around the World: A New Import for Developing Countries?," Working Paper Series rwp05-016, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  14. 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.
  15. Robert B. Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2004. "Oil and the Macroeconomy Since the 1970s," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 115-134, Fall.
  16. Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler & J. David López-Salido, 2001. "Robustness of the Estimates of the Hybrid New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Working Papers 44, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  17. Pierre Perron, 2005. "Dealing with Structural Breaks," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2005-017, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  18. Bruce E. Hansen, 2001. "The New Econometrics of Structural Change: Dating Breaks in U.S. Labour Productivity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 117-128, Fall.
  19. Rudd, Jeremy & Whelan, Karl, 2005. "Modelling Inflation Dynamics: A Critical Review of Recent Research," Research Technical Papers 7/RT/05, Central Bank of Ireland.
  20. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-69, June.
  21. Wong, Ka-fu, 2000. "Variability in the Effects of Monetary Policy on Economic Activity," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 179-98, May.
  22. 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 740-44, June.
  23. Taylor, John B., 2000. "Low inflation, pass-through, and the pricing power of firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1389-1408, June.
  24. Lynda Khalaf & Maral Kichian, 2003. "Testing the Stability of the Canadian Phillips Curve Using Exact Methods," Working Papers 03-7, Bank of Canada.
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