Good Days, Bad Days: Stock Market Fluctuation and Taxi Tipping Decisions
61 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2020
Date Written: November 1, 2017
Using taxicab tipping records in New York City (NYC), we develop a novel measure of real-time utility and quantitatively assess the impact of wealth change on the well-being of individuals based on the core tenet of prospect theory. The baseline estimate suggests that a one standard deviation increase in the stock market index is associated with a 0.3% increase in the daily average tipping ratio, which translates to an elasticity estimate of 0.3. The impact is short-lived and in line with the wealth effect interpretation. Consistent with loss aversion, we find that the impact is primarily driven by wealth loss rather than gain. We exploit GPS and timestamp information and design two difference-in-difference tests to establish causal inference. Exploitation of the characteristics of individual stocks suggests that the effect of wealth change on real-time utility is more pronounced in the stocks of firms with large market capitalization. Finally, our aggregate estimate suggests that annual tip revenue in the NYC taxi industry is associated with stock market fluctuation, ranging from -$17.5 million to $12.9 million.
Keywords: Consumption, Stock market, Loss aversion, Investor mood, Taxi tipping
JEL Classification: D12; D91; G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation