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The Socionomics Institute

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A Connection Between the Ebola Outbreak and the Stock Market?

The growing Ebola epidemic seemed to erupt for no particular reason. Yet, there is one context in which the timing of the epidemic makes sense—the context of social mood theory.

Gainesville, GA, September 04, 2014 --(PR.com)-- The growing Ebola epidemic seemed to erupt for no particular reason. Yet, there is one context in which the timing of the epidemic makes sense—the context of social mood theory. In short, most people think epidemics stress people out, but the findings of the Socionomics Institute reverse this idea: historical data suggest that stressed-out people are more susceptible to epidemics.

The Georgia-based think tank studied two centuries of history and found a distinct relationship between bear markets in stocks and subsequent outbreaks of infectious disease. What’s the connection? People rapidly express the fear and pessimism of negative social mood by lowering their valuations of stocks. The same negative mood trend that drives bear markets also impels lagging manifestations, such as polarization, economic trouble, xenophobia, authoritarianism, war and adverse public health effects.

After a six-year bear market in western Africa stocks, Ebola erupted there in March 2014. Now the death toll has surpassed 1,500, and the head of the World Health Organization said the disease is outpacing efforts to stop it, with “potentially catastrophic consequences including a ‘high risk’ that it will spread.”

But the relationship between social mood, epidemic disease and the stock market extends far beyond Africa. The London cholera outbreaks in the 19th century as well as epidemics of Spanish flu, polio, HIV/AIDS, SARS and H1N1 flu were all preceded by substantial, prolonged declines in stock markets. Bottom line: a society’s stock market is a leading indicator of its susceptibility to epidemics. This perspective could save lives.

The Institute recently released a study of the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Follow this link to read an excerpt from the new report, “Ebola: A Socionomic Booster Shot”: http://www.socionomics.net/2014/08/article-ebola-a-socionomic-booster-shot/#axzz3BikWAbdI.

For a full copy of the study, or to speak with the author, contact alexandral@socionomics.net.
Contact Information
The Socionoimcs Institute
Alexandra Lienhard
770-536-0309
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http://www.socionomics.net/2014/08/article-ebola-a-socionomic-booster-shot/#axzz3BikWAbdI
www.socionomics.net

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