Opinion

Felix Salmon

Equity-Eschatology Correlation of the Day

By Felix Salmon
March 31, 2009

If you think the world is about to come to an end, you’re not likely to be particularly worried about saving money — in fact, you will probably be quite keen to spend it while you can. Even on houses:

Mr. Crowe investigated how changes in the index matched up with home prices and found that up to 90 percent of the difference in price changes between evangelical and non-evangelical areas could be correlated with the Rapture index.

Zubin Jelveh gets the credit for the find; it’s great to see him back in the blogosphere. The same research finds that house prices in predominantly-evangelical areas tend to be less volatile, because “unchecked greed and speculative frenzy are seen as undesirable in the evangelical community”, and because, as the abstract puts it, evangelicals “interpret otherwise negative events as containing positive news, dampening the response of house prices to shocks”.
By these lights, evangelicals should also be more disposed towards interest-only mortgages: there’s no point in paying down principal if you’re going to be Raptured in the near future.

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