Social Mood Conference | Socionomics Foundation

New SI Study Finds Link Between Stock Market Declines and Epidemics

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Exploring Socionomic Causality in Social Health and Epidemics

Studies have found that changes in benchmark stock market indexes precede corresponding changes in economic performance. Other studies have established a positive association between economic performance and public health. It follows that stock market indexes should be valuable leading indicators of changes in public health. The few studies to have considered this relationship found significant links. We expand the data set to test the historical endurance of the association between stock market performance and public health. First, we find a positive association between U.S. stock market performance and the Index of Social Health from 1970 to 2011. Second, we find a positive and leading relationship between severe or extended declines in stock market indexes and the onset of major epidemics of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including epidemics of cholera, encephalitis lethargica, Spanish Flu, Hong Kong Flu, HIV/AIDS, SARS, H1N1, Ebola and Zika. We explore the socionomic explanation for these associations, specifically that natural fluctuations in social mood regulate changes in both stock price trends and public health trends. Our findings have practical implications for the ability of researchers, practitioners and health officials to anticipate trends in social health and changes in the risk of epidemics for specific locations worldwide.

Alan M. Hall — Socionomics Institute
Alyssa Hayden — Socionomics Institute
Matthew Lampert — Socionomics Institute