DP6303 Oil Shocks and External Balances

Author(s): Lutz Kilian, Alessandro Rebucci, Nikola Spatafora
Publication Date: May 2007
Keyword(s): Balance of payments, External balances, International financial integration, Oil demand shocks, Oil prices, Oil supply shocks
JEL(s): F32, F36, O16, O57, Q43
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6303

This paper studies the effects of demand and supply shocks in the global crude oil market on several measures of countries? external balance, including the oil trade balance, the non-oil trade balance, the current account and changes in net foreign assets (NFA) during 1975?2004. We explicitly take a multilateral and global perspective. In addition to the United States, the Euro area and Japan, we consider a number of regional aggregates including oil-exporting economies and middle-income oil-importing economies. Our first result is that the effect of oil shocks on the merchandise trade balance and the current account, which depending on the source of the shock can be large, depends critically on the response of the non-oil trade balance, and differs systematically between the United States and other oil importing countries. Second, using the Lane-Milesi-Ferretti NFA data set, we document the presence of large and systematic (if not always statistically significant) valuation effects in response to oil shocks, not only for the United States, but also for other oil-importing economies and for oil exporters. Our estimates suggest that increased international financial integration will tend to cushion the effect of oil shocks on NFA positions for major oil exporters and for the United States, but may amplify it for other oil importers.