Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Matthew Yglesias says weather doesn't matter

I just caught up with his Valentine to Minneapolis:

People appear to be deterred from moving to Minneapolis on the grounds that it's very cold, but David Schkade and Daniel Kahneman have found that people's thinking about weather and happiness is dominated by "focusing illusion" in which "easily observed and distinctive differences between locations are given more weight in such judgments than they will have in reality." They specifically looked at the weather gap between California and the Midwest and found that while Midwesterners thought the good weather in California would make a huge difference in people's lives, it doesn't in reality.
OK, maybe I am idiosyncratic.  But as a person who lived most of his life in Wisconsin (not as cold as Minnesota), and who now lives in California, I can tell you the three reasons I will most likely never leave this place:

(1) My wife does cool and useful things here.
(2) I like the people I work with very much.
(3) Weather.