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Why are the Effects of Recent Oil Price Shocks so Small?


  • Schmidt, Torsten
  • Zimmermann, Tobias


Recent oil price shocks have relatively small effects on real economic activity and inflation compared to the experiences of the seventies and the early eighties. In this paper we analyse possible reasons for these phenomena using the example of the German economy. At first, by estimating a VAR-model and calculating impulse responses to an oil price shock it is confirmed that the macroeconomic effects have become much smaller. Moreover, our simulations show that oil price hikes are more closely related to global economic activity since the early nineties.Then, to get a deeper understanding of the structural changes which are responsible for these results we utilize a new Keynesian open economy model. It becomes obvious that the small effects of the recent oil price shocks on the German economy can be explained by a combination of a reduced energy cost share and good luck in terms of a strong growing global economy. Hence, if global economic growth decreases, pure oil price shocks may still have substantial effects on the German economy, even if the energy pricevulnerability has been reduced.These results should be valid also for other oil importing countries, at least from a qualitative point of view.

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  • Schmidt, Torsten & Zimmermann, Tobias, 2007. "Why are the Effects of Recent Oil Price Shocks so Small?," Ruhr Economic Papers 29, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:29

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yeh, Fang-Yu & Hu, Jin-Li & Lin, Cheng-Hsun, 2012. "Asymmetric impacts of international energy shocks on macroeconomic activities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 10-22.
    2. Löschel Andreas & Oberndorfer Ulrich, 2009. "Oil and Unemployment in Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(2-3), pages 146-162, April.
    3. Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza & Markwardt, Gunther, 2009. "The effects of oil price shocks on the Iranian economy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 134-151, January.
    4. Schubert, Stefan F., 2014. "Dynamic Effects Of Oil Price Shocks And Their Impact On The Current Account," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(02), pages 316-337, March.
    5. Al-mulali, Usama & Che Sab, Normee, 2009. "The Impact of Oil Prices on the Real Exchange Rate of the Dirham: a Case Study of the United Arab Emirates," MPRA Paper 23493, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Chuku, Chuku & Effiong, Ekpeno & Sam, Ndifreke, 2010. "Oil price distortions and their short- and long-run impacts on the Nigerian economy," MPRA Paper 24434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Meenagh, David & Minford, Patrick & Oyekola, Olayinka, 2015. "Oil Prices and the Dynamics of Output and Real Exchange Rate," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2015/18, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
    8. Farzanegan, Mohammad Reza, 2011. "Oil revenue shocks and government spending behavior in Iran," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1055-1069.

    More about this item


    Oil prices; new Keynesian open economy model;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics


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