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Behavioral Economics

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Are Fair Weather Fans Affected By Weather? Rainfall, Habit Formation And Live Game Attendance, Qi Ge, Brad Humphreys, Kun Zhou Jan 2017

Are Fair Weather Fans Affected By Weather? Rainfall, Habit Formation And Live Game Attendance, Qi Ge, Brad Humphreys, Kun Zhou

Economics Faculty Working Papers Series

We analyze habit formation in sports attendance utilizing rainfall as an unexpected, transitory shock to attendance costs. Using attendance data from Major League Baseball (MLB) and NOAA weather data, we analyze the impact of variation in game day weather conditions on current and future MLB attendance. The empirical strategy permits identification of both the formation and persistence of habit from exogenous weather shocks. Past adverse weather shocks increase future attendance by about 200 fans per game. Our study contributes to the literature developing empirical evidence of habit formation in the field and provides policy implications for optimal ticket pricing strategies.