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Three Epochs of Oil

  • Eyal Dvir
  • Kenneth S. Rogoff

We test for changes in price behavior in the longest crude oil price series available (1861-2008). We find strong evidence for changes in persistence and in volatility of price across three well defined periods. We argue that historically, the real price of oil has tended to be highly persistent and volatile whenever rapid industrialization in a major world economy coincided with uncertainty regarding access to supply. We present a modified commodity storage model that fully incorporates demand, and further can accommodate both transitory and permanent shocks. We show that the role of storage when demand is subject to persistent growth shocks is speculative, instead of its classic mitigating role. This result helps to account for the increased volatility of oil price we observe in these periods.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14927.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14927
Note: IFM ME
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  8. Gustafson, Robert L., 1958. "Carryover levels for grains: A method for determining amounts that are optimal under specified conditions," Technical Bulletins 157231, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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  11. Serena Ng & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2000. "Explaining the Persistence of Commodity Prices," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 16(1/2), pages 149-171, October.
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  18. Alquist, Ron & Kilian, Lutz, 2007. "What Do We Learn from the Price of Crude Oil Futures?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Wright, Gavin, 1990. "The Origins of American Industrial Success, 1879-1940," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 651-68, September.
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  25. Robert S. Pindyck, 1999. "The Long-Run Evolutions of Energy Prices," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 1-27.
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