The benefits of forced experimentation: Evidence from the London Underground network
Ferdinand Rauch's analysis of the London Tube strike in 2014 found that despite the inconvenience to tens of thousands of people, the strike actually produced a net economic benefit, due to the number of people who found more efficient ways to get to work.
The researchers examined 20 days’ worth of anonymised Oyster card data, containing more than 200 million data points, in order to see how individual Tube journeys changed during the strike. They found that of the regular commuters affected by the strike, either because certain stations were closed or because travel times were considerably different, a significant fraction – about one in 20 – decided to stick with their new route once the strike was over.
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