Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Marc Weidenmier

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The 1929 stock market crash on Black Thursday, followed by the subsequent four-year period of extreme economic downturn, signifies an extremely profound piece of U.S. history. During this time, global economic productivity – measured by GDP – decreased while the U.S. unemployment rate increased staggeringly. Leveraging construction permits as a forward-looking measure of economic activity, I empirically evaluate the effect of construction permits – specifically, the lagged growth rate of monthly construction permits – and lagged monthly stock returns on monthly Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) stock returns. Lagged construction permit returns and lagged stock returns provide early indications (i.e., stock returns) of the following Great Depression.