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The effects of weather on retail sales

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  • Martha Starr-McCluer

Abstract

Monthly fluctuations in consumer spending are often attributed to the weather. This paper presents a model in which weather affects the productivity of time in nonmarket activities (such as shopping or recreation), and so, via time and budget constraints, may induce substitution in spending across goods and over time. Using monthly data on retail sales and weather data from the National Weather Service, I find that unusual weather has a modest but significant role in explaining monthly sales fluctuations. However, lagged effects often offset original effects, so that weather's influence tends to wash out at a quarterly frequency.

Suggested Citation

  • Martha Starr-McCluer, 2000. "The effects of weather on retail sales," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-08, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2000-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carroll, Christopher D & Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Wilcox, David W, 1994. "Does Consumer Sentiment Forecast Household Spending? If So, Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1397-1408, December.
    2. Gilbert Ghez & Gary S. Becker, 1975. "The Allocation of Time and Goods over the Life Cycle," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ghez75-1.
    3. Elizabeth J. Warner & Robert B. Barsky, 1995. "The Timing and Magnitude of Retail Store Markdowns: Evidence from Weekends and Holidays," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 321-352.
    4. Wilcox, David W, 1992. "The Construction of U.S. Consumption Data: Some Facts and Their Implications for Empirical Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 922-941, September.
    5. Heien, Dale, 1983. "Seasonality in U.S. Consumer Demand," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(4), pages 280-284, October.
    6. Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "Seasonal Fluctuations and the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Model of Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1258-1279, December.
    7. Stephen A. Smith & Dale D. Achabal, 1998. "Clearance Pricing and Inventory Policies for Retail Chains," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(3), pages 285-300, March.
    8. English, William B & Miron, Jeffrey A & Wilcox, David W, 1989. "Seasonal Fluctuations and the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Model of Consumption: A Correction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 988-991, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
    2. repec:eee:riibaf:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:377-386 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bertrand, Jean-Louis & Brusset, Xavier & Fortin, Maxime, 2015. "Assessing and hedging the cost of unseasonal weather: Case of the apparel sector," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 244(1), pages 261-276.
    4. Joelle SAAD-LESSLER & George TSELIOUDIS, 2010. "Storms, Climate Change, And The Us Economy: A National Analysis," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 10(1).
    5. Joelle SAAD-LESSLER & George TSELIOUDES, 2009. "Storms, Climate Change, and the US Economy: A National Analysis," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 9(1).
    6. repec:aes:jetimm:v:1:y:2017:i:1:p:204-209 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Frank Youhua Chen & Candace Arai Yano, 2010. "Improving Supply Chain Performance and Managing Risk Under Weather-Related Demand Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(8), pages 1380-1397, August.
    8. Nicholas Apergis & Rangan Gupta, 2016. "Can Weather Conditions in New York Predict South African Stock Returns?," Working Papers 201634, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.

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    Keywords

    Consumption (Economics) ; Retail trade ; Econometric models;

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