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Discussion Paper Details

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Title: The Econometrics of Oil Market VAR Models

Author(s): Lutz Kilian and Xiaoqing Zhou

Publication Date: March 2020

Keyword(s): Bayesian estimation, Elasticity, identification, Model specification, structural VAR and textual analysis

Programme Area(s): International Macroeconomics and Finance

Abstract: 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 identifying assumptions and methods of inference. We not only explain how the workhorse models in this literature have evolved, but also examine alternative oil market VAR models. We help the reader understand why the latter models sometimes generated unconventional, puzzling or erroneous conclusions. Finally, we discuss the construction of extraneous measures of oil demand and oil supply shocks that have been used as external or internal instruments for VAR models.

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Bibliographic Reference

Kilian, L and Zhou, X. 2020. 'The Econometrics of Oil Market VAR Models'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14460