On Aug. 21, the moon will block the sun in its path across the United States, giving viewers in a 70-mile wide strip between Oregon and South Carolina an unprecedented view.
For the investors who live in that path, it’s an exciting time, and in some cases lucrative. Airbnb reports that 40,000 homes in the path of totality have been booked through the site, with some homeowners asking for hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, for their properties.
The cities within the path are trying to cash in, as well. Hopkinsvile, Kentucky, a town of 33,000, has dubbed itself “Eclipseville” and named a solar eclipse event consultant.
Mark Kamstra, Canadian Securities Institute Research Foundation term professor of finance at the Schulich School of Business at York University, Toronto, wonders about the impact such a big event could have on financial markets.
Kamstra released a paper for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta with colleagues Lisa Kramer and Maurice Levi in 2003 that found a seasonal trend in risk aversion. Seasonal affective disorder is already a well-documented psychological condition, and the paper found that as daylight hours increased or decreased, investors became more or less risk averse based on the amount of sunlight they were exposed to.