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Air pollution and stock returns in the US

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  • Levy, Tamir
  • Yagil, Joseph
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    Abstract

    Health related research documents that air pollution has negative mood effects. Experimental works in psychology relate bad mood to increased risk aversion. Studies in financial economics report an observed link between mood effects and stock market returns. This study therefore investigates whether the mood effects caused by air pollution can have economic implications. It examines the relationship between air pollution and stock returns using data from the Air Quality Index, and stock returns from four stock exchanges in the US. We find that air pollution is negatively related to stock returns, even when controlling for other variables. The relationship becomes weaker as the distance of the stock exchange from the polluted area increases. The results also indicate that air pollution may even affect local traders investing in securities exchanges located far from the polluted area. The findings imply that a profitable trading strategy can be constructed.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167487011000146
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (June)
    Pages: 374-383

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:3:p:374-383

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

    Related research

    Keywords: 2900-Social Processes & Social Issues Air pollution Stock returns Investor mood Risk aversion;

    References

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    1. David Hirshleifer & Tyler Shumway, 2003. "Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1009-1032, 06.
    2. Alex Edmans & Diego García & Øyvind Norli, 2007. "Sports Sentiment and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1967-1998, 08.
    3. Joost M.E. Pennings & Philip Garcia, 2009. "The informational content of the shape of utility functions: financial strategic behavior," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 83-90.
    4. Rajnish Mehra & Raaj Sah, 1999. "Can Small Fluctuations in Investors' Subjective Preferences Induce Large Volatility in Equity Prices?," Working Papers 9917, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    5. Lei Feng & Mark S. Seasholes, 2004. "Correlated Trading and Location," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(5), pages 2117-2144, October.
    6. Lisa A. Kramer & Mark J. Kamstra & Maurice D. Levi, 2000. "Losing Sleep at the Market: The Daylight Saving Anomaly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1005-1011, September.
    7. Mark J. Kamstra & Lisa A. Kramer & Maurice D. Levi, 2003. "Winter Blues: A SAD Stock Market Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 324-343, March.
    8. Saunders, Edward M, Jr, 1993. "Stock Prices and Wall Street Weather," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1337-45, December.
    9. Yuan, Kathy & Zheng, Lu & Zhu, Qiaoqiao, 2006. "Are investors moonstruck? Lunar phases and stock returns," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-23, January.
    10. Jacobsen, Ben & Marquering, Wessel, 2008. "Is it the weather?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 526-540, April.
    11. Chang, Shao-Chi & Chen, Sheng-Syan & Chou, Robin K. & Lin, Yueh-Hsiang, 2008. "Weather and intraday patterns in stock returns and trading activity," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1754-1766, September.
    12. Cao, Melanie & Wei, Jason, 2005. "Stock market returns: A note on temperature anomaly," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1559-1573, June.
    13. Sven Bouman & Ben Jacobsen, 2002. "The Halloween Indicator, "Sell in May and Go Away": Another Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1618-1635, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Levy, Tamir & Yagil, Joseph, 2012. "The week-of-the-year effect: Evidence from around the globe," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1963-1974.
    2. Fung, Ka Wai Terence & Demir, Ender & Lau, Marco Chi Keung & Chan, Kwok Ho, 2013. "An Examination of Sports Event Sentiment: Microeconomic Evidence from Borsa Istanbul," MPRA Paper 52874, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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