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.
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.
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 ...
Refining the Workhorse Oil Market Model
The Kilian and Murphy (2014) structural vector autoregressive model has become the workhorse model for the analysis of oil markets. I explore various refinements and extensions of this model, including the effects of (1) correcting an error in the measure of global real economic activity, (2) explicitly incorporating narrative sign restrictions into the estimation, (3) relaxing the upper bound on the impact price elasticity of oil supply, (4) evaluating the implied posterior distribution of the structural models, and (5) extending the sample. I demonstrate that the substantive conclusions of ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 Quantitative Evaluation of the Housing Provident Fund Program in China
The Housing Provident Fund (HPF) is the largest public housing program in China. It was created in 1999 to enhance homeownership. This program involves a mandatory saving scheme based on labor income. Past deposits are refunded when the worker purchases a house or retires. Moreover, the program provides mortgages at subsidized rates to facilitate these home purchases. I calibrate a heterogeneous-agent life-cycle model to quantify the effects of these policies. My analysis shows that a housing program with these features is expected to raise the rate of homeownership by 8.7 percentage points ...
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 ...
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.