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Structural Interpretation of Vector Autoregressions with Incomplete Identification: Revisiting the Role of Oil Supply and Demand Shocks

Christiane J.S. Baumeister, James D. Hamilton

NBER Working Paper No. 24167
Issued in December 2017, Revised in August 2018
NBER Program(s):The Environment and Energy Program, The Economic Fluctuations and Growth Program

Traditional approaches to structural vector autoregressions can be viewed as special cases of Bayesian inference arising from very strong prior beliefs. These methods can be generalized with a less restrictive formulation that incorporates uncertainty about the identifying assumptions themselves. We use this approach to revisit the importance of shocks to oil supply and demand. Supply disruptions turn out to be a bigger factor in historical oil price movements and inventory accumulation a smaller factor than implied by earlier estimates. Supply shocks lead to a reduction in global economic activity after a significant lag, whereas shocks to oil demand do not.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24167

Published: Christiane Baumeister & James D. Hamilton, 2019. "Structural Interpretation of Vector Autoregressions with Incomplete Identification: Revisiting the Role of Oil Supply and Demand Shocks," American Economic Review, vol 109(5), pages 1873-1910. citation courtesy of

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