Stress that Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox

28 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2008

See all articles by Alois Stutzer

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Abstract

People spend a lot of time commuting and often find it a burden. According to standard economics, the burden of commuting is chosen when compensated either on the labor or on the housing market so that individuals' utility is equalized. However, in a direct test of this strong notion of equilibrium with panel data, we find that people with longer commuting time report systematically lower subjective well-being. This result is robust with regard to a number of alternative explanations. We mention several possibilities of an extended model of human behavior able to explain this commuting paradox.

Suggested Citation

Stutzer, Alois and Frey, Bruno S., Stress that Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 110, No. 2, pp. 339-366, June 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1167551 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9442.2008.00542.x

Alois Stutzer (Contact Author)

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 267 3361 (Phone)
0041 61 267 3340 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wwz.unibas.ch/stutzer/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

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