Decisions and Networks

Experimentation on the Tube

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Science  23 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6344, pp. 1244-1245
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6344.1244-g

The morning commute actually got better for many Londoners thanks to a transit strike, particularly in regions where information about the transit network is murky. Several stations on the London Underground were closed in February 2014 because of a strike. Larcom et al. found that commuters who were forced to try new routes because of the strike were less likely to follow their prestrike routes after the strike ended, suggesting that forced experimentation led to more optimal strategies. Suboptimal prestrike routes were influenced by noisy information, such as poor knowledge of different train speeds and distorted distances between stations on the schematic map of the Underground system.

Quart. J. Econ. 10.1093/qje/qjx020 (2017).

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