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Oil price volatility, economic growth and the hedging role of renewable energy

  • Rentschler, Jun E.

This paper investigates the adverse effects of oil price volatility on economic activity and the extent to which countries can hedge against such effects by using renewable energy. By considering the Realized Volatility of oil prices, rather than following the standard approach of considering oil price shocks in levels, the effects of factor price uncertainty on economic activity are analyzed. Sample countries represent developed and developing, oil importing and exporting and service/industry-based economies (United States, Japan, Germany, South Korea, India, and Malaysia) and thus complement the standard literature's analysis of Western OECD countries. In a vector auto-regressive setting, Granger causality tests, impulse response functions, and variance decompositions show that oil price volatility has more-adverse effects in all sample countries than oil price shocks alone can explain. The paper finds that the sensitivity to oil price volatility varies widely across countries and discusses various factors which may determine the level of sensitivity (such as sectoral composition and the energy mix). This implies that the standard approach of solely considering net oil importer-exporter status is not sufficient. Simulations of volatility shocks in hypothetical energy mixes (with increased renewable shares) illustrate the potential economic benefits resulting from efforts to disconnect the macroeconomy from volatile commodity markets. It is concluded that expanding renewable energy can in principle reduce an economy's vulnerability to oil price volatility, but a country-specific analysis would be necessary to identify concrete policy measures. Overall, the paper provides an additional rationale for reducing exposure and vulnerability to oil price volatility for the sake of economic growth.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6603.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6603
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  1. Javier F. Mory, 1993. "Oil Prices and Economic Activity: Is the Relationship Symmetric?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 151-162.
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  7. Kiseok Lee & Shawn Ni & Ronald A. Ratti, 1995. "Oil Shocks and the Macroeconomy: The Role of Price Variability," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 39-56.
  8. Papapetrou, Evangelia, 2001. "Oil price shocks, stock market, economic activity and employment in Greece," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 511-532, September.
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  17. Ioannis N. Kessides, 2010. "Nuclear Power and Sustainable Energy Policy: Promises and Perils," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 25(2), pages 323-362, August.
  18. Hamilton, James D & Herrera, Ana Maria, 2004. "Oil Shocks and Aggregate Macroeconomic Behavior: The Role of Monetary Policy: Comment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 265-86, April.
  19. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Nour Meddahi, 2004. "Analytical Evaluation Of Volatility Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1079-1110, November.
  20. Abeysinghe, Tilak, 2001. "Estimation of direct and indirect impact of oil price on growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 147-153, November.
  21. Filis, George & Degiannakis, Stavros & Floros, Christos, 2011. "Dynamic correlation between stock market and oil prices: The case of oil-importing and oil-exporting countries," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 152-164, June.
  22. Hooker, Mark A., 1996. "What happened to the oil price-macroeconomy relationship?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 195-213, October.
  23. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-38, July.
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