This paper revisits evidence of solar activity influence on the economy. We examine whether economic recessions occur more often in the years around and after solar maximums. This research strand dates back to late 19th century writings of the British economist William Stanley Jevons, who claimed that “commercial crises” occur with periodicity matching solar cycle length. Quite surprisingly, our results suggest that the hypothesis linking solar maximums and recessions is well anchored in data and cannot be easily rejected.
Keywords: business cycle—recession—solar cycle—unemployment—sunspot
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