Sentiment and stock returns: The SAD anomaly revisited
Widely-cited research by Kamstra et al. (2003) argues that changes in mood resulting from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) drive changes in investor risk aversion and cause seasonal patterns in aggregate stock returns around the world. In this paper we reexamine the so-called SAD effect by replicating and extending Kamstra et al. (2003). We study the psychological underpinnings of the SAD hypothesis and show that the time-series predictions of the SAD model do not correspond to the seasonal patterns in depression found in the general population. We also investigate the cross-sectional prediction that SAD has a greater effect on stock markets in countries where SAD is more prevalent and find no relation between the prevalence of SAD and stock returns. Finally, we document that the SAD effect is mechanically driven by an overlapping dummy-variable specification and higher returns around the turn of the year.
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