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Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Working Papers
OPEC in the News
Michael D. Plante

This paper introduces a newspaper article count index related to OPEC that rises in response to important OPEC meetings and events connected with OPEC production levels. I use this index to measure how interest in OPEC varies over time and investigate how oil price volatility behaves when the index unexpectedly changes. I find that unexpected increases in the newspaper index are strongly associated with higher levels of oil price volatility, both realized and implied. In some cases, interest levels and price volatility appear to be driven by the OPEC event itself, such as the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. In other cases, such as the oil price collapses in late 2008 and late 2014, price volatility and interest levels in an OPEC event appear to be responding endogenously to developments in the oil market or broader economy. The newspaper index is highly correlated with Google search volume data on OPEC, an alternative measure of the amount of attention paid to OPEC events.

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Michael D. Plante, OPEC in the News, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Working Papers 1802, 01 Feb 2018, revised 01 Feb 2018.
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Note: This paper previously circulated under the title “OPEC in the News: The Effect of OPEC on Oil Price Uncertainty."
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Keywords: Oil price volatility; OPEC; attention; Google search activity
DOI: 10.24149/wp1802
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