• AEA in the news
  • April 14, 2016

Why crude oil prices keep taking us by surprise

Offshore oil platform off the Congolese coast.

Olivier Le Moal/Bigstock

Vox covered a paper on the difficulties of forecasting oil prices appearing in the Winter 2016 issue of the Journal of Economic PerspectivesIn Forty Years of Oil Price Fluctuations: Why the Price of Oil May Still Surprise Usauthors Christiane Baumeister and Lutz Kilian note that even as economists’ understanding of global oil markets has become much more sophisticated, forecasters have failed to predict most recent price swings. The underlying factors that determine oil prices, such as growing demand in developing countries, remain hard to foresee.