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The employment and wage effects of oil price shocks: a sectoral analysis

  • Michael P. Keane
  • Eswar S. Prasad

In this paper we use micro panel data to examine the effects of oil price shocks on employment and real wages, at the aggregate and industry levels. We also measure differences in the employment and wage responses for workers differentiated on the basis of skill level. We find that oil price increases result in a substantial decline in real wages for all workers, but raise the relative wage of skilled workers. The use of panel data econometric techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity is essential to uncover this result, which is completely hidden in OLS estimates. While the short-run effect of oil price increases on aggregate employment is negative, the long-run effect is negligible. We find that oil price shocks induce substantial changes in employment shares and relative wages across industries. However, we find little evidence that oil price shocks cause labor to flow into those sectors with relative wage increases.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics with number 51.

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Date of creation: 1991
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmem:51
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  1. Jovanovic, Boyan & Moffitt, Robert, 1988. "An Estimate Of A Sectoral Model Of Labor Mobility," Working Papers 88-32, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  4. Berndt, Ernst R & Wood, David O, 1975. "Technology, Prices, and the Derived Demand for Energy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(3), pages 259-68, August.
  5. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbance," Working papers 497, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Hamilton, James D, 1983. "Oil and the Macroeconomy since World War II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 228-48, April.
  7. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert & Runkle, David, 1988. "Real Wages over the Business Cycle: Estimating the Impact of Heterogeneity with Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1232-66, December.
  8. Pindyck, Robert S, 1979. "Interfuel Substitution and the Industrial Demand for Energy: An International Comparison," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 169-79, May.
  9. Matthew D. Shapiro & Mark W. Watson, 1988. "Sources of Business Cycle Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Loungani, Prakash, 1986. "Oil Price Shocks and the Dispersion Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(3), pages 536-39, August.
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