Discussion paper

DP14666 The Value of Time: Evidence From Auctioned Cab Rides

We estimate valuations of time using detailed consumer choice data from a large European ride hail platform, where drivers bid on trips and consumers choose between a set of potential rides with different prices and waiting times. We estimate consumer demand as a function of prices and waiting times. While demand is responsive to both, price elasticities are on average four times higher than waiting-time elasticities. We show how these estimates can be mapped into values of time that vary by place, person, and time of day. Regarding variation within a day, the value of time during non-work hours is 16% lower than during work hours. Regarding the spatial dimension, our value of time measures are highly correlated both with real estate prices and urban GPS travel flows. We apply our measures to quantify the opportunity cost of traffic congestion in Prague, which we estimate at $483,000 per day.


Buchholz, N, L Doval, J Kastl, F Matějka and T Salz (2020), ‘DP14666 The Value of Time: Evidence From Auctioned Cab Rides‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 14666. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp14666