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Energy price shocks and the macroeconomy: the role of consumer durables

  • Rajeev Dhawan
  • Karsten Jeske

So far, the literature on dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models with energy price shocks uses energy on the production side only. In these models, energy shocks are responsible for only a negligible share of output fluctuations. We study the robustness of this finding by explicitly modeling private consumption of energy at the household level in addition to energy use at the firm level to account for total energy use in the economy. Additionally, we distinguish between investment in consumer durables and investment in capital goods. The model economy is calibrated to match total energy use and durable goods consumption as observed in the U.S. data. Simulation results indicate that, despite higher total energy use, this economy has an even smaller proportion of output fluctuations attributable to energy price shocks. Productivity shocks continue to be the primary force behind business cycle fluctuations. The driving force behind our results is that the household now has the flexibility to rebalance its investment portfolio. Specifically, the energy price hike is absorbed by reducing durable goods investment more than investment in capital goods, thereby cushioning the hit to future production at the expense of current consumption. Hence, our model better matches the consumption volatility observed in the data.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in its series Working Paper with number 2006-09.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2006-09
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  1. Karsten Jeske & Dirk Krueger, 2005. "Housing and the macroeconomy: the role of implicit guarantees for government-sponsored enterprises," Working Paper 2005-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1996. "Imperfect Competition and the Effects of Energy Price Increases on Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 5634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Collard, Fabrice & Juillard, Michel, 2001. "Accuracy of stochastic perturbation methods: The case of asset pricing models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(6-7), pages 979-999, June.
  4. Nadenichek, Jon, 1999. "Consumer durable goods in an international real business cycle framework," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 233-247.
  5. 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.
  6. Hamilton, James D & Herrera, Ana Maria, 2004. "Oil Shocks and Aggregate Macroeconomic Behavior: The Role of Monetary Policy: Comment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 265-86, April.
  7. Masao Ogaki & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Measuring Intertemporal Substitution: The Role of Durable Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 1078-1098, October.
  8. Rupert, Peter & Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1995. "Estimating Substitution Elasticities in Household Production Models," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 179-93, June.
  9. Hamilton, James D, 1988. "A Neoclassical Model of Unemployment and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 593-617, June.
  10. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2007. "Why Does Household Investment Lead Business Investment over the Business Cycle?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 141-168.
  11. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Krueger, Dirk, 2011. "Consumption And Saving Over The Life Cycle: How Important Are Consumer Durables?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(05), pages 725-770, November.
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