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Mr. Rabah Arezki, Zoltan Jakab, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Mr. Akito Matsumoto, Armen Nurbekyan, Hou Wang, and Jiaxiong Yao
This paper presents a simple macroeconomic model of the oil market. The model incorporates features of oil supply such as depletion, endogenous oil exploration and extraction, as well as features of oil demand such as the secular increase in demand from emerging-market economies, usage efficiency, and endogenous demand responses. The model provides, inter alia, a useful analytical framework to explore the effects of: a change in world GDP growth; a change in the efficiency of oil usage; and a change in the supply of oil. Notwithstanding that shale oil production today is more responsive to prices than conventional oil, our analysis suggests that an era of prolonged low oil prices is likely to be followed by a period where oil prices overshoot their long-term upward trend.
Mr. Alberto Behar and Robert A Ritz
In November 2014, OPEC announced a new strategy geared towards improving its market share. Oil-market analysts interpreted this as an attempt to squeeze higher-cost producers including US shale oil out of the market. Over the next year, crude oil prices crashed, with large repercussions for the global economy. We present a simple equilibrium model that explains the fundamental market factors that can rationalize such a "regime switch" by OPEC. These include: (i) the growth of US shale oil production; (ii) the slowdown of global oil demand; (iii) reduced cohesiveness of the OPEC cartel; (iv) production ramp-ups in other non-OPEC countries. We show that these qualitative predictions are broadly consistent with oil market developments during 2014-15. The model is calibrated to oil market data; it predicts accommodation up to 2014 and a market-share strategy thereafter, and explains large oil-price swings as well as realistically high levels of OPEC output.
Mr. Joshua Charap, Mr. Arthur Ribeiro da Silva, and Mr. Pedro C Rodriguez
The economic and environmental implications of energy subsidies have received renewed attention from policymakers and economists in recent years. Nevertheless there remains significant uncertainty regarding the magnitude of the impact of energy subsidies on energy consumption. In this paper we analyze a panel of cross-country data to explore the responsiveness of energy consumption to changes in energy prices and the implications of our findings for the debate on energy subsidy reform. Our findings indicate a long-term price elasticity of energy demand between -0.3 and -0.5, which suggests that countries can reap significant long-term benefits from the reform of energy subsidies. Our findings also indicate that short-term gains from subsidy reform are likely to be much smaller, which suggests the need for either a gradual approach to subsidy reform or for more generous safety nets in the short term.
Mr. Michael Kumhof and Mr. Dirk V Muir
This paper, using a six-region DSGE model of the world economy, assesses the GDP and current account implications of permanent oil supply shocks hitting the world economy at an unspecified future date. For modest-sized shocks and conventional production technologies the effects are modest. But for larger shocks, for elasticities of substitution that decline as oil usage is reduced to a minimum, and for production functions in which oil acts as a critical enabler of technologies, GDP growth could drop significantly. Also, oil prices could become so high that smooth adjustment, as assumed in the model, may become very difficult.
Ms. Marcelle Chauvet, Mr. Jack G. Selody, Mr. Douglas Laxton, Mr. Michael Kumhof, Mr. Jaromir Benes, Mr. Ondrej Kamenik, and Susanna Mursula
We discuss and reconcile two diametrically opposed views concerning the future of world oil production and prices. The geological view expects that physical constraints will dominate the future evolution of oil output and prices. It is supported by the fact that world oil production has plateaued since 2005 despite historically high prices, and that spare capacity has been near historic lows. The technological view of oil expects that higher oil prices must eventually have a decisive effect on oil output, by encouraging technological solutions. It is supported by the fact that high prices have, since 2003, led to upward revisions in production forecasts based on a purely geological view. We present a nonlinear econometric model of the world oil market that encompasses both views. The model performs far better than existing empirical models in forecasting oil prices and oil output out of sample. Its point forecast is for a near doubling of the real price of oil over the coming decade. The error bands are wide, and reflect sharply differing judgments on ultimately recoverable reserves, and on future price elasticities of oil demand and supply.
Ms. Ling H Tan, Ms. Kala Krishna, and Mr. Ram Ranjan
This paper models investment/entry decisions in a competitive industry that is subject to a quantity control on an input for production. The quantity control is implemented by auctioning licenses for the restricted input (e.g., a pollution permit or a production license). The paper shows that liberalizing the quantity control could reduce investment in the industry under certain circumstances. Furthermore, the level of investment is quite different when licenses are tradable than when they are not. Key factors in the comparison include the elasticity of demand for the final good and the degree of input substitutability. Two examples are computed to illustrate the results.