Energy Prices and Business Cycles: Lessons from a Simulated Small Open Economy Model
Despite energy price hikes in recent years, growth rates turned out to be high in most industrialised countries. This pattern starkly contrasts the adverse effects that energy price shocks exerted on growth in the 1970s and 1980s. This study investigates whether a reduction in the energy cost share or different sources of energy price hikes are responsible for this divergence. By adding an exogenous two-variable VAR to a new open economy model for Germany, both energy prices and global economic activity are specified to be independent from domestic variables but assumed to influence each other. We show that it is sensible to calibrate the model in accordance with long-run fluctuations in important, observable, structural parameters and VAR coefficients on a period by period basis. Increases in energy prices and in global output serve as supply side and demand side shocks respectively. Our results suggest that the effects of recent energy price hikes have been different from past experiences because they were demand driven. Therefore, supply driven energy price increases could still be an important source of business cycle fluctuations.
Schmidt, T. and T. Zimmermann (2011), Energy Prices and Business Cycles: Lessons from a Simulated Small Open Economy Model. OECD Journal: Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, 2011, 2, 29-47