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Stress that doesn’t pay: the commuting paradox


Stutzer, Alois; Frey, Bruno S (2008). Stress that doesn’t pay: the commuting paradox. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 110(2):339-366.

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’.

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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106 citations in Web of Science®
141 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:June 2008
Deposited On:01 Dec 2008 15:31
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:36
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0347-0520
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:10.1111/j.1467-9442.2008.00542.x
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-6189

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