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Reference-Dependent Preferences and Labor Supply: The Case of New York City Taxi Drivers

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  • Henry S. Farber

Abstract

I develop a model of daily labor supply where preferences are dependent on a reference daily income level, and I apply this model to data on the labor supply of New York City taxi drivers. I find that there may be a reference level of income on a given day that affects labor supply. However, there is substantial day-to-day variation in a given driver's reference level, and most shifts end before reaching the reference income level. This pattern is inconsistent with an important role for reference-dependent preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • 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 1069-1082, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:3:p:1069-82
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.3.1069
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • L92 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Railroads and Other Surface Transportation

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