NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Superstitions, Street Traffic, and Subjective Well-Being

Michael L. Anderson, Fangwen Lu, Yiran Zhang, Jun Yang, Ping Qin

NBER Working Paper No. 21551
Issued in September 2015
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Environment and Energy Economics, Public Economics

Congestion plays a central role in urban and transportation economics. Existing estimates of congestion costs rely on stated or revealed preferences studies. We explore a complementary measure of congestion costs based on self-reported happiness. Exploiting quasi-random variation in daily congestion in Beijing that arises because of superstitions about the number four, we estimate a strong effect of daily congestion on self-reported happiness. When benchmarking this effect against the relationship between income and self-reported happiness we compute implied congestion costs that are several times larger than conventional estimates. Several factors, including the value of reliability and externalities on non-travelers, can reconcile our alternative estimates with the existing literature.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21551

Published: Michael L. Anderson & Fangwen Lu & Yiran Zhang & Jun Yang & Ping Qin, 2016. "Superstitions, Street Traffic, and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Public Economics, . citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Levinson w22956 Energy Efficiency Standards Are More Regressive Than Energy Taxes: Theory and Evidence
Naik, Kominers, Raskar, Glaeser, and Hidalgo w21620 Do People Shape Cities, or Do Cities Shape People? The Co-evolution of Physical, Social, and Economic Change in Five Major U.S. Cities
Curtis, Lugauer, and Mark w21555 Demographics and Aggregate Household Saving in Japan, China, and India
Anderson w21578 As the Wind Blows: The Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution on Mortality
Greve, Schultz-Nielsen, and Tekin w21545 Fetal Malnutrition And Academic Success: Evidence From Muslim Immigrants In Denmark
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us