ABSTRACT

Purpose-This study examines the impact of oil price volatility on economic activities in Korea. The new millennium has seen a deregulation in the crude oil market, which invited immense capital inflow into Korea. It has also raised oil price levels and volatility. Drawing on the recent theoretical literature that emphasizes the role of volatility, this paper attends to the asymmetric changes in economic growth in response to the oil price movement. This study further examines several key macroeconomic variables, such as interest rate,production, and inflation. We come to the conclusion that oil price volatility can, in some part, explain the structural changes. Research design, data, and methodology-We use two methodological frameworks in this study. First, in regards to the oil price uncertainty, we use an Exponential-GARCH (Exponential Generalized Autoregressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity: EGARCH) model estimate to elucidate the asymmetric effect of oil price shock on the conditional oil price volatility. Second, along with the estimation of the conditional volatility by the EGARCH model, we use the estimates in a VECM (Vector Error Correction Model). The study thus examines the dynamic impacts of oil price volatility on industrial production, price levels, and monetary policy responses. We also approximate the monetary policy function by the yield of monetary stabilization bond. The data collected for the study ranges from 1990: M1 to 2013: M7. In the VECM analysis section, the time span is split into two sub-periods; one from 1990 to 1999, and another from 2000 to 2013, due to the U.S. CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) deregulation on the crude oil futures that became effective in 2000. This paper intends to probe the relationship between oil price uncertainty and macroeconomic variables since the structural change in the oil market became effective. Results and Conclusions -The dynamic impulse response functions obtained from the VECM show a prolonged dampening effect of oil price volatility shock on the industrial production across all sub-periods. We also find that inflation measured by CPI rises by one standard deviation shock in response to oil price uncertainty, and lasts for the ensuing period. In addition, the impulse response functions allude that South Korea practices an expansionary monetary policy in response to oil price shocks, which stems from oil price uncertainty. Moreover, a comparison of the results of the dynamic impulse response functions from the two sub-periods suggests that the dynamic relationships have strengthened since 2000. Specifically, the results are most drastic in terms of industrial production; the impact of oil price volatility shocks has more than doubled from the year 2000 onwards. These results again indicate that the relationships between crude oil price uncertainty and Korean macroeconomic activities have been strengthened since the year2000, which resulted in a structural change in the crude oil market due to the deregulation of the crude oil futures.

KEYWORD

Oil Price Volatility, EGARCH, VECM, Industrial Production Index, Consumer Price Index.

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