The Joy of Forced Experimentation

In February 2014, portions of the London Underground shut down for three days as employees went on strike over plans to close ticket offices and eliminate 1,000 jobs. For commuters, the shutdown caused widespread misery. For economists, it sparked joy.

A Striking Finding

The partial Tube shutdown created a natural experiment, making economists giddy. With certain stations and train lines shuttered, some commuters were forced to find a new way into the office while others weren’t affected.