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Economy Lab

Delving into the forces that shape our living standards
Best Business Blog, EPPY awards, 2011 and 2012

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A stock trader is having a difficult day in Paris on Dec. 12, 2011. (Michel Euler/The Associated Press)
A stock trader is having a difficult day in Paris on Dec. 12, 2011. (Michel Euler/The Associated Press)

Economy Lab

Mood swings and business cycles Add to ...

Across Europe, the confidence of the public and investors has bounced up and down as leaders grapple with the debt crisis of weakened economies. But do consumers have reason to worry, or does worrying make it worse?

Perhaps they really should go with their gut.

The booms and busts of business cycles are strongly influenced by the mood swings of the public, according to a new statistical analysis published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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