Soon meteorology will be required credit for economic majors

In the first quarter of last year and the year before, “unusually bad weather” was deemed responsible for the negative growth surprises.

The “weather factor” is becoming more common.

Example 1:

In addition to seasonal effects, abnormal weather can also affect month-to-month fluctuations in job growth. In my paper “Weather Adjusting Economic Data” I and my coauthor Michael Boldin implement a statistical methodology for adjusting employment data for the effects of deviations in weather from seasonal norms. We use several indicators of weather, including temperature and snowfall.

Example 2:

As for the slight slowdown in consumption at the end of 2015, December was both the warmest and the wettest on record. The warmth reduced spending on heating; the wet may have kept people indoors. Spending at restaurants fell by 1.7%, notes Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics, a consultancy. Now that the heavens have closed, wallets should reopen.

Agree that sometimes it´s a fun read!


3 thoughts on “Soon meteorology will be required credit for economic majors

  1. Wet weather keeps people inside restaurants, movies, and malls. Where we spend money.

    Freezing cold weather keeps people inside the house–where we can also spend money, ordering stuff online.

    Just to state the obvious.

    I do take the point that seasonal variation exists — but isn’t December the major month for Christmas shopping? I don’t understand why one would assume that wet weather depresses Christmas shopping. December 25 is a fixed deadline; you can’t get an extension. Come hell or high water (or wet weather), I’ve got to get the presents under the tree.

    Also…where was all the wet weather? I live just outside NYC; nobody was building arks in their back yards here.

  2. There were some very good new shows on Netflix too. Perhaps an idea for a new research paper on how Hollywood reduces economic growth.

  3. Well, there has to be some rational explanation for these things. What else could it be if not the weather? Could it be sunspots or maybe cosmic rays?

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