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Author:Kilian, Lutz 

Working Paper
The Role of the Prior in Estimating VAR Models with Sign Restrictions

Several recent studies have expressed concern that the Haar prior typically imposed in estimating sign-identified VAR models may be unintentionally informative about the implied prior for the structural impulse responses. This question is indeed important, but we show that the tools that have been used in the literature to illustrate this potential problem are invalid. Specifically, we show that it does not make sense from a Bayesian point of view to characterize the impulse response prior based on the distribution of the impulse responses conditional on the maximum likelihood estimator of ...
Working Papers , Paper 2030

Working Paper
Oil Prices, Exchange Rates and Interest Rates

There has been much interest in the relationship between the price of crude oil, the value of the U.S. dollar, and the U.S. interest rate since the 1980s. For example, the sustained surge in the real price of oil in the 2000s is often attributed to the declining real value of the U.S. dollar as well as low U.S. real interest rates, along with a surge in global real economic activity. Quantifying these effects one at a time is difficult not only because of the close relationship between the interest rate and the exchange rate, but also because demand and supply shocks in the oil market in turn ...
Working Papers , Paper 1914

Working Paper
Pitfalls in estimating asymmetric effects of energy price shocks

A common view in the literature is that the effect of energy price shocks on macroeconomic aggregates is asymmetric in energy price increases and decreases. We show that widely used asymmetric vector autoregressive models of the transmission of energy price shocks are misspecified, resulting in inconsistent parameter estimates, and that the implied impulse responses have been routinely computed incorrectly. As a result, the quantitative importance of unanticipated energy price increases for the U.S. economy has been exaggerated. In response to this problem, we develop alternative regression ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 970

Working Paper
Jointly Estimating Macroeconomic News and Surprise Shocks

This paper clarifies the conditions under which the state-of-the-art approach to identifying TFP news shocks in Kurmann and Sims (2021, KS) identifies not only news shocks but also surprise shocks. We examine the ability of the KS procedure to recover responses to these shocks from data generated by a conventional New Keynesian DSGE model. Our analysis shows that the KS response estimator tends to be strongly biased even in the absence of measurement error. This bias worsens in realistically small samples, and the estimator becomes highly variable. Incorporating a direct measure of TFP news ...
Working Papers , Paper 2304

Working Paper
Facts and Fiction in Oil Market Modeling

A series of recent articles has called into question the validity of VAR models of the global market for crude oil. These studies seek to replace existing oil market models by structural VAR models of their own based on different data, different identifying assumptions, and a different econometric approach. Their main aim has been to revise the consensus in the literature that oil demand shocks are a more important determinant of oil price fluctuations than oil supply shocks. Substantial progress has been made in recent years in sorting out the pros and cons of the underlying econometric ...
Working Papers , Paper 1907

Working Paper
State-Dependent Local Projections

Do state-dependent local projections asymptotically recover the population responses of macroeconomic aggregates to structural shocks? The answer to this question depends on how the state of the economy is determined and on the magnitude of the shocks. When the state is exogenous, the local projection estimator recovers the population response regardless of the shock size. When the state depends on macroeconomic shocks, as is common in empirical work, local projections only recover the conditional response to an infinitesimal shock, but not the responses to larger shocks of interest in many ...
Working Papers , Paper 2302

Working Paper
Container Trade and the U.S. Recovery

Since the 1970s, exports and imports of manufactured goods have been the engine of international trade and much of that trade relies on container shipping. This paper introduces a new monthly index of the volume of container trade to and from North America. Incorporating this index into a structural macroeconomic VAR model facilitates the identification of shocks to domestic U.S. demand as well as foreign demand for U.S. manufactured goods. We show that, unlike in the Great Recession, the primary determinant of the U.S. economic contraction in early 2020 was a sharp drop in domestic demand. ...
Working Papers , Paper 2108

How the Saudi Decision to Launch a Price War Is Reshaping the Global Oil Market

In the second week of March, the already fragile global oil market was rocked by Saudi Arabia’s announcement that it would expand oil production to unprecedented levels, signaling an end to its price cooperation with Russia.
Dallas Fed Economics

A New View of the Relationship Between Oil Prices, Gasoline Prices and Inflation Expectations

It has been considered self-evident until recently that oil prices drive inflation expectations, but new evidence calls into question this conclusion.
Dallas Fed Economics

A Ban on U.S. Crude Oil Exports Would Not Lower Gasoline Prices at the Pump

High gasoline prices have stimulated interest in what the Biden administration can do to lower the price at the pump.
Dallas Fed Economics

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