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Weather to go to College

11 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2010  

Uri Simonsohn

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Simonsohn, Uri, Weather to go to College. The Economic Journal, Vol. 120, No. 543, pp. 270-280, March 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1550480 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2009.02296.x

Uri Simonsohn (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3730 Walnut Street
JMHH 500
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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