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Stress That Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox

  • Stutzer, Alois


    (University of Basel)

  • Frey, Bruno S.


    (University of Zurich)

People spend a lot of time commuting and often find it a burden. According to economics, the burden of commuting is chosen when compensated either on the labor or on the housing market so that individuals’ utility is equalized. However, in a direct test of this strong notion of equilibrium, we find that people with longer commuting time report systematically lower subjective well-being. Additional empirical analyses do not find institutional explanations of the empirical results that commuters systematically incur losses. We discuss several possibilities of an extended model of human behavior able to explain this ‘commuting paradox’.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1278.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2007, 110 (2), 339 - 366
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1278
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