The Effects of the Crises and the Processes of Adaptation
Although many years have passed, a reading of the effect of the increase in real oil prices on industrial economies is still highly complex and vigorously debated by economists. Difficulties arise on several counts: (a) the impossibility of completely isolating the role of the “energy factor” from the set of variables that was influencing economies at the time, considering there were some not immediately quantifiable aspects in which the relation expressed itself; (b) the difficulty in keeping these effects separate from those that could be imputed to monetary and fiscal stabilisation policies adopted by governments to cope with the price shock; (c) the steady decline in the driving force, already felt by the end of the Sixties, on the economies, generated by the postwar technological paradigm. We are far from making a comprehensive interpretation of these phenomena. In the paragraphs to follow, we shall restrict ourselves to a description of the main causal relationships between the energy shock and the economy, in what today appears to many to be a “consensus” opinion unsupported by adequate data, but which in those years undoubtedly shaped the decisions made by governments, companies and consumers in response to the new situation.
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Aggregate Demand OPEC Country Refining Cost Demand Price Elasticity
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