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Street-level bureaucracy: best to be grey (or silver) on Friday, in Halifax


  • Shaun Hargreaves Heap

    (Kings College London)

  • Oleksandr Talavera

    (University of Birmingham)


This paper examines the behaviour of a group of 'street-level bureaucrats': the UK's MOT (certificate of roadworthiness) testers. We find differences in MOT failure rates across postcodes, days of the week and by car color. The postcode variation is worrying in a national test, especially as it is associated with road traffic accidents/fatalities. It plausibly arises from how these 'street-level bureaucrats' are regulated. The 'day-of-the-week' effect is also apparent in financial markets and so our evidence suggests this behavioral bias may be more widespread. The bias with respect to color is new and is unrelated to favourite colors.

Suggested Citation

  • Shaun Hargreaves Heap & Oleksandr Talavera, 2019. "Street-level bureaucracy: best to be grey (or silver) on Friday, in Halifax," Discussion Papers 19-02, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:19-02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeffrey Jaffe & R. Westerfield, "undated". "The Week-End Effect in Common Stock Returns: The International Evidence," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    2. Jeffrey Jaffe & R. Westerfield, "undated". "The Week-End Effect in Common Stock Returns: The International Evidence," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    3. Jaffe, Jeffrey F & Westerfield, Randolph, 1985. "The Week-End Effect in Common Stock Returns: The International Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(2), pages 433-454, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert J.R. Elliott & Viet Nguyen-Tien & Eric Strobl & Chengyu Zhang, 2024. "Estimating the longevity of electric vehicles: What do 300 million MOT test results tell us?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1972, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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    More about this item


    Street-level bureaucrats; regulatory failure; accident rate; behavioral bias.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R48 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government Pricing and Policy

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