Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Manfred Keil

Rights Information

© 2011 Jacob Bauch


Nine of the ten recessions since WWII have been preceded by relatively large and sudden increases in the price of oil. In this paper, I use time series analysis to forecast GDP growth using oil prices. I use the methodology from Hamilton (2009), and extend the dataset through 2010. Impulse response functions are used to analyze the historical performance of the model’s one-year-ahead forecasts. In April, 2011, the International Monetary Fund changed its forecast of 2011 GDP growth in the U.S. from 3.0% to 2.8% largely due to persistently high oil prices. My model suggests that the price increase in 2011Q1 will lead to growth of 2% in 2011. Furthermore, my model predicts that a 54% increase in crude oil prices during the second quarter of 2011 will lead the U.S. into a double dip recession.