Three Essays on Price Dynamics and Causations among Energy Markets and Macroeconomic Information
This dissertation examines three important issues in energy markets: price dynamics, information flow, and structural change. We discuss each issue in detail, building empirical time series models, analyzing the results, and interpreting the findings. First, we examine the contemporaneous interdependencies and information flows among crude oil, natural gas, and electricity prices in the United States (US) through the multivariate generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedasticity (MGARCH) model, Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) for contemporaneous causal structures and Bernanke factorization for price dynamic processes. Test results show that the DAG from residuals of out-of-sample-forecast is consistent with the DAG from residuals of within-sample-fit. The result supports innovation accounting analysis based on DAGs using residuals of out-of-sample-forecast. Second, we look at the effects of the federal fund rate and/or WTI crude oil price shock on US macroeconomic and financial indicators by using a Factor Augmented Vector Autoregression (FAVAR) model and a graphical model without any deductive assumption. The results show that, in contemporaneous time, the federal fund rate shock is exogenous as the identifying assumption in the Vector Autoregression (VAR) framework of the monetary shock transmission mechanism, whereas the WTI crude oil price return is not exogenous. Third, we examine price dynamics and contemporaneous causality among the price returns of WTI crude oil, gasoline, corn, and the S&P 500. We look for structural break points and then build an econometric model to find the consistent sub-periods having stable parameters in a given VAR framework and to explain recent movements and interdependency among returns. We found strong evidence of two structural breaks and contemporaneous causal relationships among the residuals, but also significant differences between contemporaneous causal structures for each sub-period.