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Stress That Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox

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  • Alois Stutzer
  • Bruno S. Frey

Abstract

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�.

Suggested Citation

  • Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, "undated". "Stress That Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox," IEW - Working Papers 151, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:151
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    location theory; commuting; compensating variation; subjective well-being;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise

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