Weather to Go to College

20 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2007 Last revised: 8 May 2012

See all articles by Uri Simonsohn

Uri Simonsohn

Ramon Llull University - ESADE Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 13, 2008


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 enrollment. After arguing and documenting with survey evidence that cloudiness increases the appeal of academic activities, I analyze the enrollment 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 enrollment of 9 percentage points.

Keywords: Behavioral Economics, college choice, predicted utility, psychology, projection bias

JEL Classification: D00, D01, D91, M37

Suggested Citation

Simonsohn, Uri, Weather to Go to College (August 13, 2008). Economic Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or

Uri Simonsohn (Contact Author)

Ramon Llull University - ESADE Business School ( email )

Avinguda de la Torre Blanca, 59
Sant Cugat del Vall├Ęs, 08172


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