ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

Are Thoughts and Prayers Substitutes for Material Aid?

Friday, December 3, 2021 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Online Location, Zoom Meeting

ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

The ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory of the Fall 2021 semester will feature:

Linda Thunström

University of Wyoming

Are Thoughts and Prayers Substitutes for Material Aid?

 

Please contact ICES Office Manager (sbahabib@gmu.edu) for Zoom link.

 

Abstract

Americans are routinely called upon to offer up thoughts and prayers in support of disaster victims, prompting concerns among some that these gestures may crowd out material aid. We conduct a field experiment following Hurricane Dorian to examine this potential effect, and find that participants who choose to support hurricane victims with thoughts and prayers donate substantially less than a control group asked for donations only. Extrapolated to the U.S. population as a whole, the implied annual reduction in disaster relief from Americans’ thoughts and prayers likely amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

For more information about the Seminar Series, please visit the Seminar Schedule homepage.

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