Weather To Go To College

Rained Out GraduationWhether it’s owing to the clever title or the quirkiness of his research question, Inside Higher Ed today points me to Uri Simonsohn‘s piece for The Economic Journal, “Weather To Go To College.”

No, the title isn’t a misprint:

Does current utility bias predictions of future utility for high stakes decisions? Here I provide field evidence consistent with such Projection Bias in one of life’s most thought-about decisions: college enrolment. After arguing and documenting with survey evidence that cloudiness increases the appeal of academic activities, I analyse the enrolment decisions of 1,284 prospective students who visited a university known for its academic strengths and recreational weaknesses. Consistent with the notion that current weather conditions influence decisions about future academic activities, I find that an increase in cloudcover of one standard deviation on the day of the visit is associated with an increase in the probability of enrolment of 9 percentage points.

The abstract is all that’s available at the link and it’s been out for more than a year. Still, amusing to me on a variety of levels.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. john personna says:

    On decision-making, I’ve been sharing this link today: