Rain or Shine: Where is the Weather Effect?

20 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2005  

William N. Goetzmann

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ning Zhu

China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR); Yale School of Management; University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

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Abstract

There is considerable empirical evidence that emotion influences decision-making. In this paper, we use a database of individual investor accounts to examine the weather effects on traders. Our analysis of the trading activity in five major US cities over a six-year period finds virtually no difference in individuals' propensity to buy or sell equities on cloudy days as opposed to sunny days. If the association between cloud cover and stock returns documented for New York and other world cities is indeed caused by investor mood swings, our findings suggest that researchers should focus on the attitudes of market-makers, news providers or other agents physically located in the city hosting the exchange. NYSE spreads widen on cloudy days. When we control for this, the weather effect becomes smaller and insignificant. We interpret this as evidence that the behaviour of market-makers, rather than individual investors, may be responsible for the relation between returns and weather.

Suggested Citation

Goetzmann, William N. and Zhu, Ning, Rain or Shine: Where is the Weather Effect?. European Financial Management, Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 559-578, November 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=856735 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1354-7798.2005.00298.x

William N. Goetzmann (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management - International Center for Finance ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Ning Zhu

China Academy of Financial Research (CAFR)

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China

Yale School of Management ( email )

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University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.gsm.ucdavis.edu/Faculty/Zhu/

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