Many economists claim that asset price transitions, particularly stock price transitions, have a seasonal cycle affected by length of daylight. Although they claim that the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mediator between the length of daylight and asset price transitions, recent studies in psychology have been inconclusive about the existence of SAD, and some economics studies disagree regarding the involvement of SAD in seasonal stock price transitions. The purpose of the present study is to examine if there is any psychological mediator linking length of daylight and seasonal asset price transitions as an alternative or supplement to SAD. As a possible mediator, we examined Japan’s consumer confidence index (CCI) and asset value expectations (AVE), which indicate people’s optimism for future economy and are generated from a monthly household survey by the Japanese government. We analyzed individual longitudinal data from this survey between 2004 and 2018 and estimated four fixed-effects regression models to control for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity across individual households. The results revealed that, (i) there was a seasonal cycle of CCI and AVE; the trough occurred in December and the peak in early summer; (ii) the length of daylight time was positively associated with CCI and AVE; and (iii) the higher the latitude, the larger the seasonal cycle of CCI and AVE became. These findings suggest that the length of the daylight may affect asset price transitions through the cycle of optimism/pessimism for future economy exemplified by the CCI and AVE.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)