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Oil Price Shocks; Can they Account for the Stagflation in the 1970's?

  • Ben Hunt
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    Using a variant of the IMF's Global Economy Model (GEM), featuring energy as both an intermediate input into production and a final consumption good, this paper examines the macroeconomic implications of large increases in the price of energy. Within a fully optimizing framework with nominal and real rigidities arising from costly adjustment, large increases in energy prices can generate an inflation response similar to that seen in the 1970s if the monetary authority misperceives the economy's supply capacity and workers resist the erosion in their real consumption wages resulting from the price increase. In the absence of either of these two responses, the model suggests that energy price shocks cannot generate the type of stagflation witnessed in the 1970s. Further, even allowing for these two effects, the results do not suggest that the increase in the price of oil in late 1973 and early 1974 can fully explain the extent of the slowing in real activity or the magnitude of the acceleration in inflation experienced in the United States in 1974 and 1975.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 05/215.

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    Length: 43
    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:05/215
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    1. In-Moo Kim & Prakash Loungani, 1991. "The role of energy in real business cycle models," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    2. Knut Anton Mork & Robert E. Hall, 1979. "Energy Prices, Inflation, and Recession, 1974-1975," NBER Working Papers 0369, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David K. Backus & Mario J. Crucini, 1998. "Oil Prices and the Terms of Trade," NBER Working Papers 6697, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca, 2003. "Macroeconomics of International Price Discrimination," CEPR Discussion Papers 3710, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Laxton, Douglas & Pesenti, Paolo, 2003. "Monetary rules for small, open, emerging economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1109-1146, July.
    6. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2002. "Activist stabilization policy and inflation: The Taylor rule in the 1970s," CFS Working Paper Series 2002/15, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    7. Benjamin Hunt & Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton, 2002. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Higher Oil Prices," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 179(1), pages 87-103, January.
    8. Armstrong, John & Black, Richard & Laxton, Douglas & Rose, David, 1998. "A robust method for simulating forward-looking models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 489-501, April.
    9. Ariel T. Burstein & Joao C. Neves & Sergio Rebelo, 2000. "Distribution Costs and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics During Exchange-Rate-Based Stabilizations," RCER Working Papers 473, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    10. Juillard, Michel & Laxton, Douglas & McAdam, Peter & Pioro, Hope, 1998. "An algorithm competition: First-order iterations versus Newton-based techniques," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(8-9), pages 1291-1318, August.
    11. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1995. "Putty-clay capital and energy," Working Papers 548, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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