EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The Value of Time in the United States: Estimates from Nationwide Natural Field Experiments

Ariel Goldszmidt (), John List (), Robert Metcalfe (), Ian Muir (), Kerry Smith () and Jenny Wang ()
Additional contact information
Ariel Goldszmidt: Lyft
Ian Muir: Lyft
Kerry Smith: Arizona State University - W.P. Carey School of Business; NBER
Jenny Wang: Lyft

No 2020-179, Working Papers from Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics

Abstract: The value of time determines relative prices of goods and services, investments, productivity, economic growth, and measurements of income inequality. Economists in the 1960s began to focus on the value of non-work time, pioneering a deep literature exploring the optimal allocation and value of time. By leveraging key features of these classic time allocation theories, we use a novel approach to estimate the value of time (VOT) via two large-scale natural field experiments with the ridesharing company Lyft. We use random variation in both wait times and prices to estimate a consumer's VOT with a data set of more than 14 million observations across consumers in U.S. cities. We find that the VOT is roughly $19 per hour (or 75% (100%) of the after-tax mean (median) wage rate) and varies predictably with choice circumstances correlated with the opportunity cost of wait time. Our VOT estimate is larger than what is currently used by the U.S. Government, suggesting that society is under-valuing time improvements and subsequently under-investing public resources in time-saving infrastructure projects and technologies.

JEL-codes: D0 D1 R4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 58 pages
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ltv and nep-tre
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://repec.bfi.uchicago.edu/RePEc/pdfs/BFI_WP_2020179.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: The Value of Time in the United States: Estimates from Nationwide Natural Field Experiments (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: The Value of Time in the United States: Estimates from Nationwide Natural Field Experiments (2020) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bfi:wpaper:2020-179

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Toni Shears ().

 
Page updated 2021-10-26
Handle: RePEc:bfi:wpaper:2020-179