10 Oct '11, 8pm

What the Nobel Prize tells us about oil

What the Nobel Prize tells us about oil

Cross-posted from Council on Foreign Relations . Do you think that it's straightforward to figure out whether high oil prices cause recessions ? Many people apparently do . The 2011 Nobel Prize in economics, awarded today to Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims for "empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy," should make them reconsider. The basic reason is simple: If it was easy to separate cause from effect and thus measure the relationship between stimulus and response, they wouldn't be awarding Nobel Prizes for related progress. Indeed, the difficulty of distinguishing economic cause from effect is a big reason for economists' longstanding interest in oil price shocks, particularly those of the 1970s. Those price hikes were clearly spurred by events outside the economic system -- in 1973 by the Arab oil embargo, and in 1979 by the Iranian revolution (th...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/oil/2011-10-10-what-the-nobel-prize-...

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