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Buyer Beware: The Asymmetric Impact of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on Crude Oil Prices

Have U.S. oil market policy interventions succeeded in lowering the price of crude oil? This paper uses a structural vector autoregression model of the U.S. oil market to estimate the effect of purchases and releases by the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Unanticipated releases from the SPR have no measurable impact on oil prices, but unanticipated purchases for the SPR raise oil prices by about 1 percent. These results are robust to identification using external instruments.

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Keywords: Energy Prices, Oil and the Macroeconomy, Government Policy, Oil Shocks

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.42.6.rste

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Published in Volume 42, Number 6 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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