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Air pollution and stock returns in the US

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  • Levy, Tamir
  • Yagil, Joseph

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Levy, Tamir & Yagil, Joseph, 2011. "Air pollution and stock returns in the US," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 374-383, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:3:p:374-383
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Qadan, Mahmoud & Kliger, Doron, 2016. "The short trading day anomaly," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 62-80.
    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.
    3. Theresa Treffers & Philipp D. Koellinger & Arnold Picot, 2016. "Do Affective States Influence Risk Preferences?," Schmalenbach Business Review, Springer;Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft, vol. 17(3), pages 309-335, December.
    4. Fung, Ka Wai Terence & Demir, Ender & Lau, Chi Keung Marco & Chan, Kwok Ho, 2015. "Reexamining sports-sentiment hypothesis: Microeconomic evidences from Borsa Istanbul," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 337-355.
    5. Lepori, Gabriele M., 2016. "Air pollution and stock returns: Evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 25-42.
    6. Michael Nofer & Oliver Hinz, 2015. "Using Twitter to Predict the Stock Market," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 57(4), pages 229-242, August.
    7. Gelman, Sergey & Kliger, Doron, 2016. "Time-Induced Stress Effect on Financial Decision Making in Real Markets: The Case of Traffic Congestion," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145915, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. 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.

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