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Faculty of Economics

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Jibril, H., Chaudhuri, K., and Mohaddes, K.

Asymmetric oil prices and trade imbalances: Does the source of the oil shock matter?

Energy Policy

Vol. 137(111100) (2020)

Abstract: We examine the asymmetric effects of oil supply shocks, shocks to global real economic activity, and oil-specific demand shocks on the oil, non-oil and overall trade balances of a large sample of oil exporters and oil importers. Our empirical strategy accounts for endogenous oil prices, heterogeneous parameters, and error cross section dependence within a panel framework. We find that the pattern of asymmetries in the oil price-trade balance relationship depends on the source of the shock. For both oil exporters and oil importers, oil supply expansions are more important than oil supply disruptions; we discuss the role that Saudi Arabia plays in limiting the global effects of oil supply disruptions. Although increases in global demand deteriorate trade balances for oil importers and improve them for oil exporters, decreases in global demand have a similar, rather than an opposite effect. Our results corroborate the existing evidence that oil price increases only generate large global imbalances if they result from demand-side shocks; and we present new evidence that oil price decreases only benefit oil importers if they result from supply-side shocks.

Keywords: Oil prices, Oil-supply shocks, Oil-demand shocks, Trade balance, Asymmetry

JEL Codes: C33, F41, Q43, O57

Author links: Kamiar Mohaddes  

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