Nicolas Maystre, David Bicchetti, 05 April 2012

Trade in commodity derivatives – such as oil futures – has grown tremendously over the last few decades. Some believe that the "financialisation" of commodity markets has made them more efficient. Others worry that financialisation has resulted in greater price distortions and volatility. This column presents high-frequency trading data suggesting that the sceptics may have a point.

Lutz Kilian, Bassam Fattouh, Lavan Mahadeva, 26 March 2012

What caused the price of oil to surge in 2003–08? CEPR DP8916 assesses – and finds little evidence for – the popular view that ‘speculation’ drives oil price shocks. Economic fundamentals, the authors argue, are still the main determinants.

Tobias Rasmussen, Agustin Roitman, 25 August 2011

Recent developments in oil markets and the global economy have, once again, triggered concerns about the impact of oil price shocks around the world. This column wonders whether the fuss is really necessary. It presents evidence of relatively small negative effects of oil price increases.

Francesco Lippi, 11 June 2008

High oil prices are back – more than $125 per barrel. Such prices are associated with the macroeconomic pains of the 1970s, but this column argues that the recent surge may actually be good news for developed economies’ industries. The logic lies in the difference between demand shocks and supply shocks.

Lutz Kilian, 23 June 2007

The impact of oil price shocks on nations’ external imbalances is highly dependent on the underlying cause of the oil price increase. Policy-makers must identify the shock’s origin before they can assess their likely consequences.


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