The effects of real and monetary shocks in a business cycle model with some sticky prices
AUTHORS: Stockman, Alan C.; Kilian, Lutz; Ohanian, Lee E.
The Propagation of Regional Shocks in Housing Markets: Evidence from Oil Price Shocks in Canada
Shocks to the demand for housing that originate in one region may seem important only for that regional housing market. We provide evidence that such shocks can also affect housing markets in other regions. Our analysis focuses on the response of Canadian housing markets to oil price shocks. Oil price shocks constitute an important source of exogenous regional variation in income in Canada because oil production is highly geographically concentrated. We document that, at the national level, real oil price shocks account for 11% of the variability in real house price growth over time. At the regional level, we find that unexpected increases in the real price of oil raise housing demand and real house prices not only in oil-producing regions, but also in other regions. We develop a theoretical model of the propagation of real oil price shocks across regions that helps understand this finding. The model differentiates between oil-producing and non-oil-producing regions and incorporates multiple sectors, trade between provinces, government redistribution, and consumer spending on fuel. We empirically confirm the model prediction that oil price shocks are propagated to housing markets in non-oil-producing regions by the government redistribution of oil revenue and by increased interprovincial trade.
AUTHORS: Kilian, Lutz; Zhou, Xiaoqing
The Uniform Validity of Impulse Response Inference in Autoregressions
Existing proofs of the asymptotic validity of conventional methods of impulse response inference based on higher-order autoregressions are pointwise only. In this paper, we establish the uniform asymptotic validity of conventional asymptotic and bootstrap inference about individual impulse responses and vectors of impulse responses when the horizon is fixed with respect to the sample size. For inference about vectors of impulse responses based on Wald test statistics to be uniformly valid, lag-augmented autoregressions are required, whereas inference about individual impulse responses is uniformly valid under weak conditions even without lag augmentation. We introduce a new rank condition that ensures the uniform validity of inference on impulse responses and show that this condition holds under weak conditions. Simulations show that the highest finite-sample accuracy is achieved when bootstrapping the lag-augmented autoregression using the bias adjustments of Kilian (1999). The conventional bootstrap percentile interval for impulse responses based on this approach remains accurate even at long horizons. We provide a formal asymptotic justification for this result.
AUTHORS: Inoue, Atsushi; Kilian, Lutz
Facts and Fiction in Oil Market Modeling
Baumeister and Hamilton (2019a) assert that every critique of their work on oil markets by Kilian and Zhou (2019a) is without merit. In addition, they make the case that key aspects of the economic and econometric analysis in the widely used oil market model of Kilian and Murphy (2014) and its precursors are incorrect. Their critiques are also directed at other researchers who have worked in this area and, more generally, extend to research using structural VAR models outside of energy economics. The purpose of this paper is to help the reader understand what the real issues are in this debate. The focus is not only on correcting important misunderstandings in the recent literature, but on the substantive and methodological insights generated by this exchange, which are of broader interest to applied researchers.
AUTHORS: Kilian, Lutz
Oil Prices, Exchange Rates and Interest Rates
There has been much interest in the relationship between the price of crude oil, the value of the U.S. dollar, and the U.S. interest rate since the 1980s. For example, the sustained surge in the real price of oil in the 2000s is often attributed to the declining real value of the U.S. dollar as well as low U.S. real interest rates, along with a surge in global real economic activity. Quantifying these effects one at a time is difficult not only because of the close relationship between the interest rate and the exchange rate, but also because demand and supply shocks in the oil market in turn may affect the real value of the dollar and real interest rates. We propose a novel identification strategy for disentangling the causal effects of traditional oil demand and oil supply shocks from the effects of exogenous variation in the U.S. real interest rate and in the real value of the U.S. dollar. We empirically evaluate popular views about the role of exogenous real exchange rate shocks in driving the real price of oil, and we examine the extent to which shocks in the global oil market drive the U.S. real exchange rate and U.S. real interest rates. Our evidence for the first time provides direct empirical support for theoretical models of the link between these variables.
AUTHORS: Kilian, Lutz; Zhou, Xiaoqing
Does Drawing Down the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve Help Stabilize Oil Prices?
We study the efficacy of releases from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) within the context of fully specified models of the global oil market that explicitly allow for storage demand as well as unanticipated changes in the SPR. Using novel identifying strategies and evaluation methods, we examine seven questions. First, how much have exogenous shocks to the SPR contributed to the variability in the real price of oil? Second, how much would a one-time exogenous reduction in the SPR lower the real price of oil? Third, are exogenous SPR releases partially or fully offset by increases in private sector oil inventories and how does this response affect the transmission of SPR policy shocks? Fourth, how effective were actual SPR policy interventions, consisting of sequences of exogenous changes in the SPR, at lowering the real price of oil? Fifth, are there differences in the effectiveness of SPR emergency drawdowns and SPR exchanges? Sixth, how much did the creation and expansion of the SPR contribute to higher real oil prices? Finally, how much would selling half of the oil in the SPR, as recently proposed by the White House, lower the global price of oil (and hence the U.S. price of motor gasoline) and how much fiscal revenue would it generate?
AUTHORS: Zhou, Xiaoqing; Kilian, Lutz
Quantifying the half-life of deviations from PPP: The role of economic priors
The half-life of deviations from purchasing power parity (PPP) plays a central role in the ongoing debate about the ability of macroeconomic models to account for the time series behavior of the real exchange rate. The main contribution of this paper is a general framework in which alternative priors for the half-life of deviations from PPP can be examined. We show how to incorporate formally the prior views of economists about the half-life. In our empirical analysis we provide two examples of such priors. One example is a consensus prior consistent with widely held views among economists with a professional interest in the PPP debate. The other example is a relatively diffuse prior designed to capture a large degree of uncertainty about the half-life. Our methodology allows us to make explicit probability statements about the half-life and to assess the likelihood that the half-life exceeds a given number of years, without taking a stand on whether or not the data have a unit root. We find only very limited support for the common view in the PPP literature that the half-life is between three and five years.
AUTHORS: Kilian, Lutz; Zha, Tao
Forecasting the price of oil
We address some of the key questions that arise in forecasting the price of crude oil. What do applied forecasters need to know about the choice of sample period and about the tradeoffs between alternative oil price series and model specifications? Are real or nominal oil prices predictable based on macroeconomic aggregates? Does this predictability translate into gains in out-of-sample forecast accuracy compared with conventional no-change forecasts? How useful are oil futures markets in forecasting the price of oil? How useful are survey forecasts? How does one evaluate the sensitivity of a baseline oil price forecast to alternative assumptions about future demand and supply conditions? How does one quantify risks associated with oil price forecasts? Can joint forecasts of the price of oil and of U.S. real GDP growth be improved upon by allowing for asymmetries?
AUTHORS: Kilian, Lutz; Alquist, Ron; Vigfusson, Robert J.
Nonlinearities in the oil price-output relationship
It is customary to suggest that the asymmetry in the transmission of oil price shocks to real output is well established. Much of the empirical work cited as being in support of asymmetries, however, has not directly tested the hypothesis of an asymmetric transmission of oil price innovations. Moreover, many of the papers quantifying these asymmetric responses are based on censored oil price VAR models which recently have been shown to be invalid. Other studies are based on dynamic correlations in the data that do not shed light on the central question of whether the structural responses of real output triggered by positive and negative oil price innovations are asymmetric. Recently, a number of new methodologies have been introduced and applied to the problem of testing and quantifying asymmetric responses of U.S. real economic activity to positive and negative oil price innovations. Our objective is to put this literature in perspective, to contrast it with more traditional approaches, to highlight directions for further research, and to reconcile some seemingly conflicting results reported in the literature.
AUTHORS: Kilian, Lutz; Vigfusson, Robert J.
The Role of Oil Price Shocks in Causing U.S. Recessions
Although oil price shocks have long been viewed as one of the leading candidates for explaining U.S. recessions, surprisingly little is known about the extent to which oil price shocks explain recessions. We provide a formal analysis of this question with special attention to the possible role of net oil price increases in amplifying the transmission of oil price shocks. We quantify the conditional recessionary effect of oil price shocks in the net oil price increase model for all episodes of net oil price increases since the mid-1970s. Compared to the linear model, the cumulative effect of oil price shocks over the course of the next two years is much larger in the net oil price increase model. For example, oil price shocks explain a 3 percent cumulative reduction in U.S. real GDP in the late 1970s and early 1980s and a 5 percent cumulative reduction during the financial crisis. An obvious concern is that some of these estimates are an artifact of net oil price increases being correlated with other variables that explain recessions. We show that the explanatory power of oil price shocks largely persists even after augmenting the nonlinear model with a measure of credit supply conditions, of the monetary policy stance and of consumer confidence. There is evidence, however, that the conditional fit of the net oil price increase model is worse on average than the fit of the corresponding linear model, suggesting much smaller cumulative effects of oil price shocks for these episodes of at most 1 percent.
AUTHORS: Vigfusson, Robert J.; Kilian, Lutz