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Stress That Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox

  • Alois Stutzer
  • Bruno S. Frey

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 Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 151.

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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:151
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  21. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  22. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
  23. Weinberg, Daniel H. & Friedman, Joseph & Mayo, Stephen K., 1981. "Intraurban residential mobility: The role of transactions costs, market imperfections, and household disequilibrium," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 332-348, May.
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