Does Weather Actually Affect Tipping? An Empirical Analysis of Time Series Data
Prior literature has found evidence that pleasant weather conditions (namely sunshine) lead to higher tip rates, presumably because pleasant weather improves the moods of either servers or patrons. But previous studies involved only a few dozen subjects on at most a handful of days. We remedy this small-sample deficiency by examining two years of sales data on thousands of customers at a busy restaurant. We find no statistically significant relationship between sunshine and tipping. Thus, tipping appears to be better explained as an institutional standard or norm rather than as a prosocial behavior that can be modulated by weather-induced changes in mood.
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