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Pitfalls In Estimating Asymmetric Effects Of Energy Price Shocks

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Executive Summary

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. The author shows 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, they develop alternative regression models and methods of computing responses to energy price shocks that yield consistent estimates regardless of the degree of asymmetry.

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