Oil and the macroeconomy revisited
The relationship between oil price shocks and U.S. macroeconomic fluctuations advocated by Hamilton (1983) broke down in the 1980s amidst a new regime of highly volatile oil price movements. Several authors have argued that asymmetric and nonlinear transformations of oil prices restore that relationship and thus that the economy responds asymmetrically and nonlinearly to oil price shocks. In this paper, I show that this is only part of the story: the two leading such transformations do not in fact Granger cause output or unemployment in the post-1980 period without further refinements, and they derive much of their apparent success from data in the 1950s. If output is expressed in year-over-year changes, which are smoother than the usual quarterly changes, and the equations exclude variables like interest rates and inflation, then asymmetric and nonlinear oil prices predict output but not unemployment, while the real level of oil prices predicts unemployment but not output. I interpret this evidence as supportive of significant oil price effects on the macroeconomy which a) are at relatively low frequencies, b) are indirect, through variables like interest rates and inflation, c) can induce departures from Okun's law, and d) changed qualitatively around 1980.
|Date of creation:||1999|
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- 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.
- Thoma, Mark A & Gray, Jo Anna, 1998. "Financial Market Variables Do Not Predict Real Activity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 522-539, October.
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"Unemployment Equilibria and Input Prices: Theory and Evidence from the United States,"
22, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
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- Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Waston, Mark, 1997.
"Systematic Monetary Policy and the Effects of Oil Price Shocks,"
97-25, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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- John Burbidge & Alan Harrison, 1982.
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School of Economics Working Papers
1982-01, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
- Burbidge, John & Harrison, Alan, 1984. "Testing for the Effects of Oil-Price Rises Using Vector Autoregressions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(2), pages 459-484, June.
- 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.
- Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1999. "Sectoral Job Creation and Destruction Responses to Oil Price Changes," NBER Working Papers 7095, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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