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Petroleum Price Elasticity, Income Effects, and OPEC's Pricing Policy

F. Gerard Adams and Jaime Marquez

Year: 1984
Volume: Volume 5
Number: Number 1
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol5-No1-7
View Abstract

A standard result from static economic theory is that a monopolist with zero cost will maximize profits by charging the price at which the demand has unit elasticity. Yet, the demand for petroleum, as seen by consumers, is price inelastic, and empirical estimates of the price elasticity for petroleum are typically less than one. Given the relatively low production cost for Middle East oil and the optimization rule referred to above, a natural question is whether OPEC, acting as a monopoly, has exhausted its potential for forcing price increases or whether it will ultimately be able to charge still higher prices as it tries to optimize its earnings. This possibility of higher oil prices is important for OPEC and for oil-consuming countries-for OPEC because the finite nature of resources implies that excess production today represents an irrecoverable loss; for consuming countries because of the high cost of oil and the adverse consequences of still higher oil prices on inflation and unemployment.

Analyzing Impacts of Potential Tax Policy Changes on U.S. Oil Security

James L. Sweeney and Michael J. Boskin

Year: 1985
Volume: Volume 6
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol6-NoSI-8
No Abstract

Oil Price Shocks and Labor Market Fluctuations

Javier Ordóñez, Hector Sala and José I. Silva

Year: 2011
Volume: Volume 32
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-No3-4
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We examine the impact of real oil price shocks on labor market flows in the U.S. We first use smooth transition regression (STAR) models to investigate to what extent oil prices can be considered as a driving force of labor market fluctuations. Then we develop and calibrate a modified version of Pissarides' (2000) model with energy costs, which we simulate in response to shocks mimicking the behavior of the actual oil price shocks. We find that (i) these shocks are an important driving force of job market flows; (ii) the job finding probability is the main transmission mechanism of such shocks; and (iii) they bring a new amplification mechanism for the volatility of the labor market, and should thus be seen as complementary of labor productivity shocks. Overall we conclude that shocks in oil prices cannot be neglected in explaining cyclical labor adjustments in the U.S.

Oil Prices and State Unemployment Rates

Mohamad B. Karaki

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.3.mkar
View Abstract

This paper studies the effect of oil price shocks on U.S. state-level unemployment rates. First, using a test of symmetry, I evaluate whether the relationship between oil prices and state unemployment rates is symmetric. I find no evidence against the null of symmetry after accounting for data mining. Second, I use a symmetric structural VAR model to analyze the effect of oil supply shocks, aggregate demand shocks and oil-specific demand shocks on state unemployment. I find that an adverse supply shock triggers increases in unemployment, whereas a positive aggregate demand shock reduces the unemployment rate across most U.S. states. I also show that oil-specific demand shocks have little effect on state unemployment. Finally, I dig into the historical contribution of the various oil shocks to the changes in state unemployment rates during the shale boom period. I find that aggregate demand shocks contributed the most to the change of unemployment.

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