How Falling Oil Prices in Early 2020 Weakened the U.S. Economy
The benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price of oil dropped by more than half from Jan. 21 to April 3. This oil price decline has weakened rather than strengthened the U.S. economy, making this event different from past episodes of falling oil prices.
The Econometrics of Oil Market VAR Models
Oil market VAR models have become the standard tool for understanding the evolution of the real price of oil and its impact in the macro economy. As this literature has expanded at a rapid pace, it has become increasingly difficult for mainstream economists to understand the differences between alternative oil market models, let alone the basis for the sometimes divergent conclusions reached in the literature. The purpose of this survey is to provide a guide to this literature. Our focus is on the econometric foundations of the analysis of oil market models with special attention to the ...
A New View of the Relationship Between Oil Prices, Gasoline Prices and Inflation Expectations
It has been considered self-evident until recently that oil prices drive inflation expectations, but new evidence calls into question this conclusion.
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 ...
A Quantitative Model of the Oil Tanker Market in the Arabian Gulf
Using a novel dataset, we develop a structural model of the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) market between the Arabian Gulf and the Far East. We study how fluctuations in oil tanker rates, oil exports, shipowner profits, and bunker fuel prices are determined by shocks to the supply and demand for oil tankers, to the utilization of tankers, and to bunker fuel costs. Our analysis shows that time charter rates respond only slightly to fuel cost shocks. In response to higher fuel costs, voyage profits decline, as cost shocks are only partially passed on to round-trip voyage rates. Oil exports ...
Mortgage Borrowing and the Boom-Bust Cycle in Consumption and Residential Investment
This paper studies the transmission of the major shocks in the U.S. housing market in the 2000s to consumption and residential investment. Using geographically disaggregated data, I show that residential investment is more responsive to these shocks than consumption, as measured by elasticities and the implied contributions to GDP growth. I develop a structural life-cycle model featuring multiple types of housing investment to understand the large responses of residential investment. Consistent with the microdata, the model generates lumpy debt accumulation, lumpy housing investment and a ...
CARES Act Likely to Blunt Mortgage Delinquency Rate Increase
Household survey data and recent unemployment forecasts provide a basis for estimating the share of mortgage borrowers that—absent the CARES Act—would have missed a mortgage payment due to the economic shutdown.
Gasoline Demand More Responsive to Price Changes than Economists Once Thought
Recent advances in applied work have overturned decades of conventional wisdom regarding how consumers respond to gasoline price fluctuations.
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 ...
Oil Prices, Gasoline Prices and Inflation Expectations: A New Model and New Facts
The conventional wisdom that inflation expectations respond to the level of the price of oil (or the price of gasoline) is based on testing the null hypothesis of a zero slope coefficient in a static single-equation regression model fit to aggregate data. Given that the regressor in this model is not stationary, the null distribution of the t-test statistic is nonstandard, invalidating the use of the normal approximation. Once the critical values are adjusted, these regressions provide no support for the conventional wisdom. Using a new structural vector regression model, however, we ...