Consumer surveys conducted just a few months after the Sept. 11 attacks found that most Americans believed everything about their lives had changed. Images of planes crashing into the twin towers, people jumping to their deaths, and skyscrapers crumbling were ingrained in our minds.
We looked at the world in a much different way. We felt scared and uncertain.
Nothing was the same.
But when academics look back at the economy as a whole, 9/11 did not seem to have a long-lasting impact. Americans never really deviated from routine spending and shopping habits. Consumer behavior did not change.
“I don’t think 9/11 had a profound effect on consumer spending. 9/11 was a transitory economic shock, although the psychological aspects are much larger and permanent,” said Jeffrey Bergstrand, a finance professor at the University of Notre Dame.
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