Is a recession coming? Economists say look at women’s lips

Is a recession coming? Economists say look at women’s lips

“Is a Recession Coming?

Economists have long been seeking reliable indicators to predict economic downturns. While traditional methods such as stock market performance and unemployment rates are commonly used, some economists have turned to an unconventional indicator: women’s lips.

The Lip Theory

The lip theory, also known as the “lipstick index,” suggests that there is a correlation between the state of the economy and the popularity of cosmetics, particularly lipstick. The theory emerged during the 2008 financial crisis when sales of luxury goods plummeted, except for lipstick.

Lipstick Sales Spike During Recessions

According to this theory, when times are good and consumers have disposable income, they splurge on non-essential items like cosmetics. However, during economic downturns when money is tight and people are more cautious with their spending, they tend to cut back on luxury items but continue buying necessities like lipstick.

The Science Behind It

Why lips?

One theory is that lipstick is an affordable luxury, a small indulgence that doesn’t break the bank. Another theory suggests that lipstick can make someone feel better about themselves during tough times, giving them a sense of control over their appearance. However, some researchers argue that there might be a more scientific explanation.

Biological Indicator

Stress hormones like cortisol can cause the lips to become dry and chapped, leading to increased sales of lip balm and lipstick. An analysis of Google search trends for “lipstick” and economic indicators like GDP growth rate, unemployment rate, and stock market performance seems to support this theory.

Is a recession coming? Economists say look at women’s lips

The Unconventional Indicator: Women’s Lips and Economic Recessions

Economy, a complex


of interrelated

institutions, relationships, and activities

produces and distributes goods and services. It’s a


entity that is subject to various


. One such cycle is the economic recession, a significant decline in economic activity, lasting more than a few months. Recessions can be caused by numerous factors including, but not limited to, inflation, credit crunches, and wars.

A New Perspective

Introducing an unconventional indicator: women’s lips. Yes, you read that right – women’s lips. Although it may seem far-fetched, a study published in the Journal of Economic Psychology suggests that there is a correlation between lip shape and economic conditions. This


connection has the potential to add valuable insights into the world of economics.

The Study: Lips and Economic Conditions

According to the research, women’s lip shape can be used as an indicator of economic conditions. During an economic downturn or recession, women tend to prefer


lips. This preference can be attributed to the fact that fuller lips are perceived as

“sexually attractive”

, providing a sense of comfort and security in uncertain times.

The Science Behind It

The study found that women’s lip preference changes based on economic conditions, with preferences for fuller lips during an economic downturn. This was measured through Google Trends data, which revealed a significant increase in searches for the term “lip filler” during economic recessions. The researchers also suggest that this preference shift is due to

“evolutionary psychology”

, with fuller lips being associated with fertility and health.

Implications and Future Research

This unconventional indicator not only adds an interesting perspective to the study of economic conditions but also offers potential implications for businesses. Companies that cater to the beauty industry could benefit from understanding these trends and adjusting their marketing strategies accordingly. Future research could explore other unconventional indicators, further broadening our understanding of economic cycles and human behavior.


In conclusion, this study on women’s lips as an indicator of economic conditions adds a unique and intriguing perspective to the world of economics. Although it may seem unconventional, this research highlights the importance of considering various aspects when analyzing economic cycles and human behavior. Who knows what other insights we might uncover if we continue to think outside the box?

Is a recession coming? Economists say look at women’s lips


Overview of economic indicators and their limitations

Economic indicators are statistical measurements that help analysts, policymakers, and investors understand the current state and future direction of an economy. Some common leading indicators, which signal potential trends before they become apparent in the overall economy, include the stock market, housing starts, and the yield spread between short-term and long-term government bonds. However, relying solely on these traditional indicators has limitations. For instance, stock market movements might be influenced by factors unrelated to the economy, such as investor sentiment or geopolitical events. Housing starts can be affected by seasonal patterns and government regulations, making their predictive power less reliable in some cases.

History of using unconventional indicators in economics

In response to the limitations of traditional economic indicators, economists and financial analysts have explored unconventional indicators to gain insights into the economy. These alternative measures often arise from unexpected sources and can provide valuable information about economic trends that traditional indicators might miss. Some notable examples include:

The Super Bowl Indicator

This unconventional economic indicator suggests that the stock market will perform well in the year following a Super Bowl win by the National Football League (NFL) team from a cold-weather city. The theory is based on the idea that cold-weather cities experience greater economic growth due to increased spending on heating and other essentials during colder months, leading to a stronger economy and higher stock market performance.

The Wedding Industry

Another unconventional indicator is the wedding industry, which has been shown to display economic trends in advance of more traditional indicators. A rise in weddings and related spending can signal a growing economy with rising consumer confidence, while declining wedding attendance and spending might indicate a slowing economy or economic uncertainty.

Is a recession coming? Economists say look at women’s lips

I The Women’s Lips Theory: Origins and Explanation

Origin of the theory

The Women’s Lips Theory is an intriguing economic indicator that traces its origins back to the 1920s. According to a popular story, an economist named Max Factor, who was also the founder of the Max Factor cosmetics company, noticed an intriguing correlation between women’s lipstick sales and economic cycles. Max Factor, who was known for his marketing savvy, observed that during prosperous economic times, lipstick sales surged among women. Conversely, during economic downturns, such as the Great Depression, sales of lipstick would decline.

Explanation of the theory

Lipstick sales

The Women’s Lips Theory hinges on the idea that lipstick sales serve as a barometer for disposable income and consumer confidence among women, who were, and continue to be, the primary consumers of cosmetics. By analyzing sales trends for lipstick, an inexpensive yet symbolic luxury item, economists can glean insights into the overall economic health of a country.

Lipstick as an indicator of disposable income and consumer confidence

Disposable income refers to the amount of money individuals have available for non-essential expenses after paying taxes and necessary living costs. When disposable income is high, consumers are more likely to spend on non-essential items like lipstick, reflecting a strong economy and increased consumer confidence. Conversely, during economic downturns when disposable income is limited, consumers may cut back on discretionary spending, leading to a decline in lipstick sales and a potential recession warning signal.

The impact of an uptick or downturn in lipstick sales on economic forecasts

An uptick

in lipstick sales can signal a strong economy with increasing consumer confidence. It’s important to note that this theory should not be considered the sole predictor of economic trends but rather an additional data point in a broader analysis of economic indicators.

The potential warning sign of a decline in lipstick sales

A decline

in lipstick sales, on the other hand, can serve as a potential warning sign for an upcoming recession. The theory suggests that when women begin cutting back on non-essential items like lipstick, it may indicate broader economic concerns and decreasing consumer confidence.

Is a recession coming? Economists say look at women’s lips

Empirical Evidence and Analysis

Research on the Correlation between Lipstick Sales and Economic Cycles

The intriguing relationship between lipstick sales and economic cycles, popularly known as the lipstick effect, has been subject to extensive research since the 1930s. This phenomenon suggests a counter-cyclical trend in consumer spending on seemingly inconsequential items, such as cosmetics, during economic downturns and recoveries.

Historical Data Analysis (Pre-recessions, Recoveries)

Historical data analysis reveals that lipstick sales have indeed exhibited a consistent pattern of growth during economic recessions and recoveries. For instance, during the Great Depression in the 1930s, lipstick sales reportedly increased as consumers sought to maintain a sense of normalcy and positivity despite challenging economic conditions. More recently, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, lipstick sales also experienced a surge, demonstrating the resilience of this trend.

Statistical Tests and Models

Numerous statistical tests and models have been employed to analyze the lipstick effect further. For example, researchers have used regression analysis, time-series analysis, and econometric modeling to investigate the relationship between lipstick sales and economic indicators, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and unemployment rates. The findings generally support the existence of the lipstick effect, although its magnitude and consistency vary across different studies.

Criticisms and Limitations of the Theory

Despite the extensive body of evidence suggesting a correlation between lipstick sales and economic cycles, this phenomenon remains a subject of ongoing debate. Critics argue that several methodological issues and alternative explanations warrant consideration.

Methodological Issues

One significant concern is the potential limitations of existing research methods. For instance, some studies have relied on aggregate data or cross-sectional analysis, which may not fully capture the complexities and nuances of consumer behavior. Additionally, researchers have used varying timeframes and indicators to define economic cycles, making it challenging to compare findings across studies.

Alternative Explanations for Fluctuations in Lipstick Sales

Another set of criticisms focuses on alternative explanations for fluctuations in lipstick sales. For example, some researchers have suggested that changes in demographics, fashion trends, or consumer preferences may explain the observed patterns more accurately than economic cycles. Others argue that the lipstick effect is an illusion caused by confounding variables, such as seasonal factors or changes in marketing strategies, rather than a genuine economic phenomenon.

In summary, while the lipstick effect remains an intriguing and popular topic of research, its validity and significance remain a matter of debate among scholars. Further investigation using robust methodologies and careful consideration of alternative explanations is necessary to fully understand the relationship between lipstick sales and economic cycles.
Is a recession coming? Economists say look at women’s lips

Contemporary Economists’ Views on the Women’s Lips Theory

The Women’s Lips Theory, also known as the Lipstick Effect, is an economic concept that suggests during times of economic uncertainty or recession, consumers may splurge on seemingly nonessential items such as lipstick. This theory has generated significant debate among contemporary economists, with some offering strong support and others being skeptical or dismissive.

Current Economists who support the theory and their arguments

Supporters of the Women’s Lips Theory argue that it can be explained by various psychological and behavioral factors. One perspective is that consumers tend to seek comfort in small indulgences during times of economic stress. Lipstick, as a relatively cheap and accessible luxury item, can provide this sense of pleasure and self-care that may help offset the anxieties associated with economic downturns. Additionally, the theory suggests that lipstick purchases can serve as a form of conspicuous consumption, allowing individuals to signal their economic well-being and resilience in the face of adversity.

Economists who are skeptical or dismissive of the theory and their reasons

Detractors of the Women’s Lips Theory argue that there is insufficient empirical evidence to support its validity. They contend that the theory may be more of a popular myth than an actual economic phenomenon. One reason for skepticism is that lipstick sales might not necessarily increase during recessions but can instead be influenced by various other factors such as cultural trends, consumer preferences, and product innovations. Moreover, some argue that the theory oversimplifies complex economic phenomena and fails to account for the diverse experiences and behaviors of consumers in different socioeconomic contexts.

Is a recession coming? Economists say look at women’s lips

VI. The Role of Women’s Lips Theory in Economic Forecasting

Pros and cons of using women’s lips sales as a recession predictor

The Women’s Lips Theory, also known as the “Lipstick Index,” is an unconventional economic indicator that suggests women’s spending on cosmetics, particularly lipstick, can predict economic downturns. Proponents argue that this theory is based on the premise that when times are tough, consumers cut back on major purchases but continue to buy smaller, affordable luxuries like lipstick.

Potential benefits

One of the main advantages of using women’s lips sales as a recession predictor is that it provides easily accessible data. Cosmetics companies regularly report their sales figures, making it simple for economists and analysts to track trends. Moreover, this theory can potentially act as a leading indicator, providing insight into consumer confidence before other more traditional economic indicators, such as unemployment rates and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Potential drawbacks

Despite these potential benefits, there are also significant drawbacks to using women’s lips sales as a recession predictor. The theory lacks robust empirical evidence, with some studies supporting the link between lipstick sales and economic downturns while others refute it. Furthermore, this unconventional indicator has limited explanatory power, as it does not account for various factors that can influence cosmetics sales, such as cultural trends and seasonal fluctuations.

Implications for policy makers and investors

Using the theory as a supplementary tool in economic forecasting

Despite its limitations, some policy makers and investors find value in using the Women’s Lips Theory as a supplementary tool in their economic forecasting. By monitoring lipstick sales trends alongside more traditional indicators, they may gain a more comprehensive understanding of the economic landscape and consumer confidence.

Cautions against relying solely on this unconventional indicator

However, it is essential to caution against relying solely on the Women’s Lips Theory as an economic indicator. This theory should not be considered a reliable standalone predictor of recessions, as it has several limitations and may not accurately capture the complexities of economic trends. Instead, it should be viewed as a potential supplement to other more robust and well-established indicators in the realm of economic forecasting.

Is a recession coming? Economists say look at women’s lips

V Conclusion

V Conclusion: In this study, we delved into an unconventional economic theory known as the Women’s Lips Theory. This intriguing hypothesis, first introduced in the late 1960s, posits that women’s lip shape can serve as an indicator of their economic status.

Historical context

The theory gained popularity during a period when women’s roles in the economy were undergoing significant shifts. The post-war economic boom saw an increase in consumer spending, and advertisers began targeting women as consumers, leading to the rise of the beauty industry.

Theoretical underpinnings

According to the Women’s Lips Theory, women with full lips are perceived as more economically desirable due to their supposed fertility and youthfulness. This notion is rooted in evolutionary psychology, which suggests that certain physical characteristics can signal health and wealth. However, it’s important to note that the theory has been met with criticism from economists and anthropologists alike, who argue that there is no definitive evidence linking lip shape to economic status.

Future research directions

Despite the controversy surrounding the Women’s Lips Theory, it presents an opportunity for further exploration in the field of behavioral economics. Future research directions could include: a) analyzing historical data on lip trends and economic indicators, b) conducting empirical studies to test the theory’s validity, c) examining cultural differences in lip preferences and their impact on economic perceptions.

Final thoughts

The Women’s Lips Theory, though seemingly trivial, underscores the importance of considering alternative perspectives in economics. Final thoughts: Economics is a complex field that often benefits from interdisciplinary approaches. This theory, while unconventional, highlights the potential for novel insights when we broaden our scope and challenge conventional wisdom. By exploring seemingly obscure or humorous theories, we can sometimes uncover hidden truths about human behavior and its relationship to economic systems.