Weather to go to College
University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School
The Economic Journal, Vol. 120, No. 543, pp. 270-280, March 2010
Does current utility bias predictions of future utility for high stakes decisions? Here I provide field evidence consistent with such Projection Bias in one of life's most thought-about decisions: college enrolment. After arguing and documenting with survey evidence that cloudiness increases the appeal of academic activities, I analyse the enrolment decisions of 1,284 prospective students who visited a university known for its academic strengths and recreational weaknesses. Consistent with the notion that current weather conditions influence decisions about future academic activities, I find that an increase in cloudcover of one standard deviation on the day of the visit is associated with an increase in the probability of enrolment of 9 percentage points.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 11Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 10, 2010
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