Weather to Go to College

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

Uri Simonsohn

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 13, 2008

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 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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=964091 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.964091

Uri Simonsohn (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

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

Paper statistics

Downloads
297
Rank
81,791
Abstract Views
2,777