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New York City Cab Drivers' Labor Supply Revisited: Reference-Dependent Preferences with Rational-Expectations Targets for Hours and Income

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  • Vincent P. Crawford
  • Juanjuan Meng

Abstract

This paper proposes a model of cab drivers' labor supply, building on Henry S. Farber's (2005, 2008) empirical analyses and Botond Koszegi and Matthew Rabin's (2006; henceforth "KR") theory of reference-dependent preferences. Following KR, our model has targets for hours as well as income, determined by proxied rational expectations. Our model, estimated with Farber's data, reconciles his finding that stopping probabilities are significantly related to hours but not income with Colin Camerer et al.'s (1997) negative "wage" elasticity of hours; and avoids Farber's criticism that estimates of drivers' income targets are too unstable to yield a useful model of labor supply. (JEL J22, J31, L92)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.5.1912
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (August)
Pages: 1912-32

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:5:p:1912-32

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  1. Thierry Post & Martijn J. van den Assem & Guido Baltussen & Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Deal or No Deal? Decision Making under Risk in a Large-Payoff Game Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 38-71, March.
  2. Henry S. Farber, 2005. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply of New York City Cabdrivers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 46-82, February.
  3. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000341, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Gotte, 2002. "Do workers work more if wages are high? Evidence from a randomized field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00240, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Crawford, Vincent P. & Meng, Juanjuan, 2008. "New York City Cabdrivers' Labor Supply Revisited: Reference-Dependence Preferences with Rational-Expectations Targets for Hours and Income," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt94w5n6j9, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  6. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2007. "Reference-Dependent Risk Attitudes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1047-1073, September.
  7. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  8. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2009. "Reference-Dependent Consumption Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 909-36, June.
  9. Henry S. Farber, 2008. "Reference-Dependent Preferences and Labor Supply: The Case of New York City Taxi Drivers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1069-82, June.
  10. Gerald S. Oettinger, 1999. "An Empirical Analysis of the Daily Labor Supply of Stadium Vendors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 360-392, April.
  11. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
  12. Camerer, Colin & Babcock, Linda & Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard, 1996. "Labor Supply of New York City Cab Drivers: One Day At A time," Working Papers 960, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  13. Vincent P. Crawford & Juanjuan Meng, 2011. "New York City Cab Drivers' Labor Supply Revisited: Reference-Dependent Preferences with Rational-Expectations Targets for Hours and Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1912-32, August.
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