How does the Chinese economy react to uncertainty in international crude oil prices?




Dong Cheng, Xunpeng Shi, Jian Yu, Dayong Zhang


This paper investigates the dynamic impacts of uncertainty in international crude oil prices on the Chinese economy. We use two measures, sample standard deviation and conditional standard deviation estimated from a GARCH (1,1) model, to calculate uncertainty in oil prices. We find that an increase in volatility in oil prices tends to reduce the real gross domestic product (GDP) and investment, which in turn encourages the Chinese government to stabilize the economy through expansionary fiscal and monetary policy. Furthermore, when we differentiate the impacts of increases and decreases in oil price uncertainty, we obtain a symmetric result. An increase in oil price uncentainty reduces real GDP and investment, while a decrease boosts the macroeconomy. We attribute the effect of decreasing uncertainty to the combined factor of falling uncertainty and an expansionary monetary and fiscal policy. A cross-sectional check related to economic geography indicates that uncertainty shocks to oil prices has a significantly greater negative impact on real GDP and investment in eastern China, where the economy is more industrialized and depends more heavily on oil than other regions. 

Supported by the 111 Project B16040