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New Yorkers Commute More Everywhere: Contrast Effects in the Field


  • Uri Simonsohn

    (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)


Previous experimental research has shown that people's decisions can be influenced by options they have encountered in the past. This paper uses PSID data to study this phenomenon in the field, by observing how long people commute after moving between cities. It is found, as predicted, that (i) people choose longer commutes in a city they have just moved to, the longer the average commute was in the city they came from, and (ii) when they move again within the new city, they revise their commute length, countering the effect their origin city had on their initial decision. © 2006 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Uri Simonsohn, 2006. "New Yorkers Commute More Everywhere: Contrast Effects in the Field," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-9, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:88:y:2006:i:1:p:1-9

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    Cited by:

    1. Simonsohn, Uri & Karlsson, Niklas & Loewenstein, George & Ariely, Dan, 2008. "The tree of experience in the forest of information: Overweighing experienced relative to observed information," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 263-286, January.
    2. Ludo Peeters, 2006. "Job Opportunities, Amenities, and Variable Distance-Deterrence Elasticities: An Empirical Model of Inter-Municipal Migration in Belgium," ERSA conference papers ersa06p585, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Pope, Devin G. & Pope, Jaren C. & Sydnor, Justin R., 2015. "Focal points and bargaining in housing markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 89-107.
    4. Daniel J. Benjamin, 2018. "Errors in Probabilistic Reasoning and Judgment Biases," GRU Working Paper Series GRU_2018_023, City University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics and Finance, Global Research Unit.
    5. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2020. "Memory, Attention, and Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(3), pages 1399-1442.
    6. Nicholas J. Klein & Michael J. Smart, 2017. "Car today, gone tomorrow: The ephemeral car in low-income, immigrant and minority families," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 495-510, May.
    7. Daniel L. Chen & Tobias J. Moskowitz & Kelly Shue, 2016. "Decision Making Under the Gambler’s Fallacy: Evidence from Asylum Judges, Loan Officers, and Baseball Umpires," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(3), pages 1181-1242.
    8. J. Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal & José Alberto Molina, 2016. "Commuting Time And Household Responsibilities: Evidence Using Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 332-359, March.
    9. Anna Bindler & Randi Hjalmarsson, 2019. "Path Dependency in Jury Decision Making," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 17(6), pages 1971-2017.
    10. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2014. "Economic Consequences of Mispredicting Utility," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 937-956, August.
    11. Dauth, Wolfgang & Haller, Peter, 2020. "Is there loss aversion in the trade-off between wages and commuting distances?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    12. Stephen L. Ross & Tingyu Zhou, 2020. "Documenting Loss Aversion Using Evidence of Round Number Bias," Working Papers 2020-079, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    13. Dauth, Wolfgang & Haller, Peter, 2019. "Loss aversion in the trade-off between wages and commuting distances," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203611, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Jonas Radbruch & Amelie Schiprowski, 2020. "Interview Sequences and the Formation of Subjective Assessments," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 045, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    15. Eva Gutierrez Puigarnau & Jos N. van Ommeren, 2013. "Do rich households live farther away from their workplaces?," CPB Discussion Paper 244, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    16. Jost, Ramona, 2020. "Persistence of commuting habits: Context effects in Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 202014, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    17. Stephen L. Ross & Tingyu Zhou, 2020. "Documenting Loss Aversion using Evidence of Round Number Bias," Working papers 2020-17, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    18. Chen, Daniel L. & Moskowitz, Tobias J. & Shue, Kelly, 2016. "Decision-Making Under the Gambler’s Fallacy: Evidence From Asylum Courts, Loan Officers, and Baseball Umpires," IAST Working Papers 16-43, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    19. Samuel M. Hartzmark & Kelly Shue, 2017. "A Tough Act to Follow: Contrast Effects In Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 23883, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Francesco Rigoli & Christoph Mathys & Karl J Friston & Raymond J Dolan, 2017. "A unifying Bayesian account of contextual effects in value-based choice," PLOS Computational Biology, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(10), pages 1-28, October.
    21. José Luis Pinto‐Prades & Neil McHugh & Cam Donaldson & Sarkis Manoukian, 2019. "Sequence effects in time trade‐off valuation of hypothetical health states," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(11), pages 1308-1319, November.
    22. Uri Simonsohn, 2010. "eBay's Crowded Evenings: Competition Neglect in Market Entry Decisions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(7), pages 1060-1073, July.

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