Oil prices, inflation and interest rates in a structural cointegrated VAR model for the G-7 countries

Authors: Cologni A., Manera M.

Journal: Energy Economics

Publisher: Elsevier

Year: 2008

Volume: 30

Pages: 856-888

Keywords: Oil price shocks, Monetary policy response, Structural VAR models

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2006.11.001



Sharp increases in the price of oil are generally seen as a major contributor to business cycle asymmetries. Moreover, the very recent highs registered in the world oil market are causing concern about possible slowdowns in the economic performance of the most developed countries. In this paper a structural cointegrated VAR model has been considered for the G-7 countries in order to study the direct effects of oil price shocks on output and prices, and the reaction of monetary variables to external shocks. Our results can be summarized as follows: i) a stationary money demand, as suggested by the classic theory of money, can be identified for most countries; ii) according to the estimated coefficients of the structural part of the model, for all countries except Japan and U.K. the null hypothesis of an influence of oil prices on the inflation rate cannot be rejected. Inflation rate shocks are transmitted to the real economy by increasing interest rates; iii) impulse response analysis suggests, for most countries, the existence of an instantaneous, temporary effect of oil price innovations on prices; iv) impulse response functions indicate different monetary policy reactions to inflationary and growth shocks; v) the simulation exercises directed to estimate the total impact of the 1990 oil price shock indicate that for some countries (U.S.) a significant part of the effects of the oil price shock is due to the monetary policy reaction function. For other countries (Canada, France and Italy), however, the total impact is offset, at least in part, by an easing of monetary conditions.