Thursday, June 2, 2011

Notes on commuting

Slate on why long commutes are evil. Oddly, the study described doesn't seem to break out commutes that all or in part involve walking in assessing the health detriments associated with commuting. I walk 15-20 minutes to the train each way in the mornings, and while that may not make as much as a difference to overall health as other forms of exercise, I imagine it's worth something.

It also presents another wrinkle for Bryan Caplan's ""have more kids" project. It's obviously hard to raise a large family in a small apartment in the middle of the city without feeling severely cramped. So the projects of "become happier by having more kids" and "try to become happier by moving closer to one's place of work" are inevitably in tension. It's true that Caplan's advice may still be useful to people who have already chosen one place of abode; zero kids vs. one kid might make a real difference in happiness to the couple who has already opted for the small urban department, and the pair of commuters who have opted for the suburban McMansion might receive a significant boost in happiness from having a fourth child rather than sticking with three. Fair enough. But if your choices are, say, having one child and living close to work or having a second child and needing to move to a larger home that's more distant from work, then the marginal price of the second child might be unusually steep.

No comments:

Post a Comment