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Does Weather Actually Affect Tipping? An Empirical Analysis of Time Series Data


  • Flynn, Sean Masaki
  • Greenberg, Adam Eric


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Flynn, Sean Masaki & Greenberg, Adam Eric, 2010. "Does Weather Actually Affect Tipping? An Empirical Analysis of Time Series Data," MPRA Paper 25118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25118

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
    2. David Hirshleifer & Tyler Shumway, 2003. "Good Day Sunshine: Stock Returns and the Weather," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1009-1032, June.
    3. Conlin, Michael & Lynn, Michael & O'Donoghue, Ted, 2003. "The norm of restaurant tipping," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 297-321, November.
    4. King, Maxwell L, 1981. "The Durbin-Watson Test for Serial Correlation: Bounds for Regressions with Trend and/or Seasonal Dummy Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1571-1581, November.
    5. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
    6. Feinberg, Richard A, 1986. " Credit Cards as Spending Facilitating Stimuli: A Conditioning Interpretation," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 348-356, December.
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    More about this item


    Tipping; Weather; Prosocial; Helping; Sunshine;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • M30 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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