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Forty Years of Oil Price Fluctuations: Why the Price of Oil May Still Surprise Us

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  • Baumeister, Christiane
  • Kilian, Lutz

Abstract

It has been forty years since the oil crisis of 1973/74. This crisis has been one of the defining economic events of the 1970s and has shaped how many economists think about oil price shocks. In recent years, a large literature on the economic determinants of oil price fluctuations has emerged. Drawing on this literature, we first provide an overview of the causes of all major oil price fluctuations between 1973 and 2014. We then discuss why oil price fluctuations remain difficult to predict, despite economists’ improved understanding of oil markets. Unexpected oil price fluctuations are commonly referred to as oil price shocks. We document that, in practice, consumers, policymakers, financial market participants and economists may have different oil price expectations, and that, what may be surprising to some, need not be equally surprising to others.

Suggested Citation

  • Baumeister, Christiane & Kilian, Lutz, 2016. "Forty Years of Oil Price Fluctuations: Why the Price of Oil May Still Surprise Us," CEPR Discussion Papers 11035, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11035
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    Cited by:

    1. Cross, Jamie & Nguyen, Bao H., 2017. "The relationship between global oil price shocks and China's output: A time-varying analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 79-91.
    2. Mehmet Balcilar & Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir, 2017. "The nexus between the oil price and its volatility in a stochastic volatility in mean model with time-varying parameters," Working Papers 15-33, Eastern Mediterranean University, Department of Economics.
    3. Baas, Timo & Belke, Ansgar, 2017. "Oil price shocks, monetary policy and current account imbalances within a currency union," GLO Discussion Paper Series 160, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Balcilar, Mehmet & Gupta, Rangan & Wohar, Mark E., 2017. "Common cycles and common trends in the stock and oil markets: Evidence from more than 150years of data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 72-86.
    5. Basher, Syed Abul & Haug, Alfred A. & Sadorsky, Perry, 2017. "The impact of oil-market shocks on stock returns in major oil-exporting countries: A Markov-switching approach," MPRA Paper 81638, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. repec:eee:eneeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:9-16 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Yew-Kwang NG, 2017. "Ten Rules for Public Economic Policy," Economic Growth Centre Working Paper Series 1703, Nanyang Technological University, School of Social Sciences, Economic Growth Centre.
    8. Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Kilian & Xiaoqing Zhou, 2017. "Is the Discretionary Income Effect of Oil Price Shocks a Hoax?," Staff Working Papers 17-50, Bank of Canada.
    9. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:47:y:2016:i:2016-02:p:287-357 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Killian, 2016. "Lower Oil Prices and the U.S. Economy: Is This Time Different?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(2 (Fall)), pages 287-357.
    11. Gupta, Rangan & Wohar, Mark, 2017. "Forecasting oil and stock returns with a Qual VAR using over 150years off data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 181-186.
    12. Thomas Theobald & Peter Hohlfeld, 2017. "Why have the recent oil price declines not stimulated global economic growth?," IMK Working Paper 185-2017, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    13. Jobling, Andrew & Jamasb, Tooraj, 2017. "Price volatility and demand for oil: A comparative analysis of developed and developing countries," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 96-113.
    14. Gambetti, Luca & Moretti, Laura, 2017. "News, Noise and Oil Price Swings," Research Technical Papers 12/RT/17, Central Bank of Ireland.
    15. Mehmet Balcilar & Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir, 2018. "The volatility effect on precious metals prices in a stochastic volatility in mean model with time-varying parameters," Working Papers 15-34, Eastern Mediterranean University, Department of Economics.
    16. Okushima, Shinichiro, 2016. "Measuring energy poverty in Japan, 2004–2013," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 557-564.
    17. Neri, Stefano & Nobili, Andrea & Conti, Antonio M., 2017. "Low inflation and monetary policy in the euro area," Working Paper Series 2005, European Central Bank.
    18. Andrew Filardo & Jacopo Lombardi & Carlos Montoro, 2018. "Monetary policy spillovers, global commodity prices and cooperation," BIS Working Papers 696, Bank for International Settlements.
    19. Fernandez, Viviana, 2017. "A historical perspective of the informational content of commodity futures," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 135-150.
    20. Bao H. NGUYEN & OKIMOTO Tatsuyoshi, 2017. "Asymmetric Reactions of the U.S. Natural Gas Market and Economic Activity," Discussion papers 17102, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    21. Joseph P. Byrne & Marco Lorusso & Bing Xu, 2017. "Oil Prices and Informational Frictions: The Time-Varying Impact of Fundamentals and Expectations," CEERP Working Paper Series 006, Centre for Energy Economics Research and Policy, Heriot-Watt University.
    22. Hu, Fei & Zhao, Shangmei & Bing, Tao & Chang, Yiming, 2017. "Hierarchy in industrial structure: The cases of China and the USA," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 469(C), pages 871-882.
    23. repec:eee:macchp:v2-415 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Richard G. Newell & Brian C. Prest, 2017. "The Unconventional Oil Supply Boom: Aggregate Price Response from Microdata," NBER Working Papers 23973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. repec:eee:appene:v:202:y:2017:i:c:p:597-617 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Oil market; Oil price expectations; Oil price shock; Peak oil; Unconventional oil;

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

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