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Does Weather Actually Affect Tipping? An Empirical Analysis of Time Series Data

Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2012, 42 (3): 702-716

15 Pages Posted: 29 May 2010 Last revised: 4 Sep 2015

Sean Masaki Flynn

Vassar College

Adam Eric Greenberg

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Date Written: May 28, 2010

Abstract

Prior literature has found evidence that pleasant weather (namely, sunshine) leads to higher tipping rates, presumably because it improves the moods of either servers or patrons. However, studies examining the relationship between pleasant weather and tipping behavior have involved relatively small samples of participants and daily observations. In addition, only one such study (Cunningham, 1979) used actual weather data to examine this relationship. We address these shortcomings by testing empirically the weather–tipping relationship on 2 years of actual sales data from a busy restaurant. We found no statistically significant relationship between sunshine and tipping. Tipping appears to be better explained as an institutional standard or norm, rather than as a prosocial behavior that can be modulated by weather-induced changes in mood.

Keywords: Tipping, Weather, Prosocial, Helping, Sunshine

JEL Classification: D12, D64, M31, J30

Suggested Citation

Flynn, Sean Masaki and Greenberg, Adam Eric, Does Weather Actually Affect Tipping? An Empirical Analysis of Time Series Data (May 28, 2010). Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 2012, 42 (3): 702-716. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1617465 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1617465

Sean Masaki Flynn

Vassar College ( email )

124 Raymond Avenue
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
United States

Adam Eric Greenberg (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

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