The Economic Effects of Energy Price Shocks

63 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2008

See all articles by Lutz Kilian

Lutz Kilian

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: November 2007


Large fluctuations in energy prices have been a distinguishing characteristic of the U.S. economy since the 1970s. Turmoil in the Middle East, rising energy prices in the U.S. and evidence of global warming recently have reignited interest in the link between energy prices and economic performance. This paper addresses a number of the key issues in this debate: What are energy price shocks and where do they come from? How responsive is energy demand to changes in energy prices? How do consumers' expenditure patterns evolve in response to energy price shocks? How do energy price shocks affect real output, inflation, stock markets and the balance-of-payments? Why do energy price increases seem to cause recessions, but energy price decreases do not seem to cause expansions? Why has there been a surge in gasoline prices in recent years? Why has this new energy price shock not caused a recession so far? Have the effects of energy price shocks waned since the 1980s and, if so, why? As the paper demonstrates, it is critical to account for the endogeneity of energy prices and to differentiate between the effects of demand and supply shocks in energy markets, when answering these questions.

Keywords: Asymmetry, Causality, Channels of transmission, Crude oil, Elasticity, Gasoline, Price shocks, Propagation

JEL Classification: E21, Q43

Suggested Citation

Kilian, Lutz, The Economic Effects of Energy Price Shocks (November 2007). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6559, Available at SSRN:

Lutz Kilian (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas ( email )

2200 North Pearl Street
PO Box 655906
Dallas, TX 75265-5906
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

United Kingdom

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