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Oil Price Volatility and the Role of Speculation

Author

Listed:
  • Samya Beidas-Strom
  • Andrea Pescatori

Abstract

How much does speculation contribute to oil price volatility? We revisit this contentious question by estimating a sign-restricted structural vector autoregression (SVAR). First, using a simple storage model, we show that revisions to expectations regarding oil market fundamentals and the effect of mispricing in oil derivative markets can be observationally equivalent in a SVAR model of the world oil market à la Kilian and Murphy (2013), since both imply a positive co-movement of oil prices and inventories. Second, we impose additional restrictions on the set of admissible models embodying the assumption that the impact from noise trading shocks in oil derivative markets is temporary. Our additional restrictions effectively put a bound on the contribution of speculation to short-term oil price volatility (lying between 3 and 22 percent). This estimated short-run impact is smaller than that of flow demand shocks but possibly larger than that of flow supply shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Samya Beidas-Strom & Andrea Pescatori, 2014. "Oil Price Volatility and the Role of Speculation," IMF Working Papers 14/218, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:14/218
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian, 2010. "What do we learn from the price of crude oil futures?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 539-573.
    2. Fama, Eugene F., 1998. "Market efficiency, long-term returns, and behavioral finance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 283-306, September.
    3. Bassam Fattouh, Lutz Kilian, and Lavan Mahadeva, 2013. "The Role of Speculation in Oil Markets: What Have We Learned So Far?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    4. Renée Fry & Adrian Pagan, 2011. "Sign Restrictions in Structural Vector Autoregressions: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 938-960, December.
    5. Christiane Baumeister & Gert Peersman, 2013. "The Role Of Time‐Varying Price Elasticities In Accounting For Volatility Changes In The Crude Oil Market," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(7), pages 1087-1109, November.
    6. Denis Gromb & Dimitri Vayanos, 2010. "Limits of Arbitrage: The State of the Theory," NBER Working Papers 15821, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lutz Kilian & Clara Vega, 2011. "Do Energy Prices Respond to U.S. Macroeconomic News? A Test of the Hypothesis of Predetermined Energy Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 660-671, May.
    8. Christopher R. Knittel & Robert S. Pindyck, 2016. "The Simple Economics of Commodity Price Speculation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 85-110, April.
    9. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-1069, June.
    10. Knut Are Aastveit & Hilde C. Bjørnland & Leif Anders Thorsrud, 2015. "What Drives Oil Prices? Emerging Versus Developed Economies," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(7), pages 1013-1028, November.
    11. Backus, David K. & Crucini, Mario J., 2000. "Oil prices and the terms of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 185-213, February.
    12. Luciana Juvenal & Ivan Petrella, 2015. "Speculation in the Oil Market," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(4), pages 621-649, June.
    13. Lester G. Telser, 1958. "Futures Trading and the Storage of Cotton and Wheat," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 233-233.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Pourquoi les cours du pétrole ont-ils récemment chuté ?
      by Martin Anota in D'un champ l'autre on 2015-02-26 21:19:04

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Davig, Troy A. & Cakir Melek, Nida & Nie, Jun & Tuzemen, Didem & Smith, Andrew Lee, 2015. "Evaluating a year of oil price volatility," Macro Bulletin, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 1-3, Sept 8.
    2. John Baffes & M. Ayhan Kose & Franziska Ohnsorge & Marc Stocker, 2015. "The Great Plunge in Oil Prices: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Responses," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1504, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    3. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:61:y:2019:i:c:p:627-642 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Takuji Fueki & Hiroka Higashi & Naoto Higashio & Jouchi Nakajima & Shinsuke Ohyama & Yoichiro Tamanyu, 2016. "Identifying Oil Price Shocks and Their Consequences:Role of Expectations and Financial Factors in the Crude Oil Market," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 16-E-17, Bank of Japan.
    5. Snudden, Stephen, 2016. "Cyclical fiscal rules for oil-exporting countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 473-483.
    6. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:5:p:1184-:d:145154 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Dario Caldara & Michele Cavallo & Matteo Iacoviello, 2016. "Oil Price Elasticities and Oil Price Fluctuations," International Finance Discussion Papers 1173, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. repec:eee:enepol:v:129:y:2019:i:c:p:1306-1319 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:jimfin:v:90:y:2019:i:c:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:moneco:v:103:y:2019:i:c:p:1-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eco:journ2:2018-03-32 is not listed on IDEAS

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