What drives oil prices? Emerging versus developed economies

Vol: 
11/2013
Author name: 
Aastveit KA
Bjornland HC
Year: 
2013
Month: 
February
Abstract: 

This paper explores the role of demand from emerging and developed economies as drivers of the real price of oil. Using a method that allows us to identify and compare demand from different groups of countries across the world, we find that demand from emerging economies (most notably from Asian countries) is more than twice as important as demand from developed countries in accounting for the fluctuations in the real price of oil and in oil production. Furthermore, we find that different geographical regions respond differently to adverse oil market shocks that drive up oil prices, with Europe and North America being more negatively affected than emerging economies in Asia and South America. We demonstrate that this heterogeneity in responses is not only attributable to differences in energy intensity in production across regions but also to degree of openness and the investment share in GDP.

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