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Death by Pokémon GO

49 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2017 Last revised: 28 Nov 2017

Mara Faccio

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER)

John J. McConnell

Purdue University

Date Written: November 18, 2017

Abstract

Based on detailed police accident reports for Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and using the introduction of the virtual reality game Pokémon GO as a natural experiment, we document a disproportionate increase in vehicular crashes and associated vehicular damage, personal injuries, and fatalities in the vicinity of locations, called PokéStops, where users can play the game while driving. The results are robust to using points of play, called Gyms, that cannot be used to play the game while driving as a placebo. We estimate the total incremental county-wide cost of users playing Pokémon GO while driving, including the value of the two incremental human lives lost, to be in the range of $5.2 million to $25.5 million over only the 148 days following the introduction of the game. Extrapolation of these estimates to nation-wide levels yields a total ranging from $2 to $7.3 billion for the same period.

Keywords: Vehicular Crashes, Cost of Users Playing Pokémon GO While Driving

JEL Classification: D60, K32, R40, R41

Suggested Citation

Faccio, Mara and McConnell, John J., Death by Pokémon GO (November 18, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3073723

Mara Faccio (Contact Author)

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management ( email )

1310 Krannert Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER) ( email )

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1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

John McConnell

Purdue University ( email )

MGMT, KRAN
403 West State St.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2056
United States
765-494-5910 (Phone)
765-494-7863 (Fax)

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