Rain and museum attendance: Are daily data fine enough?
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I investigate the intraday effects of rain on the demand for indoor leisure. To do so, I use sub-daily museum attendance and weather data to reveal a dynamic response to precipitation that would be obscured using day-level data. I find that the magnitudes and signs of the effects of rainfall vary significantly throughout the day. In some hours, the predicted increase in visitors is nearly three times larger than would be expected from estimates using daily measures. Many individuals appear to actively adjust their plans throughout the day in response to rain, while others’ attendance depends upon prior weather forecasts of rain. Further analysis reveals that visit duration also increases during rainy periods, and visitors are more likely to attend pay-to-enter special exhibits. International visitors make up a greater share of total visitors during periods of observed precipitation. More broadly, this paper establishes the viability and value of working with widely available sub-daily rainfall data to uncover these dynamics.
KeywordsLeisure Recreation Weather Museums
JEL ClassificationQ5 Z1
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