Fear of COVID-19 Changes Economic Preferences: Evidence from a Repeated Cross-Sectional Mturk Survey

31 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2020 Last revised: 3 Feb 2021

See all articles by Abdelaziz Alsharawy

Abdelaziz Alsharawy

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Sheryl B. Ball

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Department of Economics

Alec Smith

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Department of Economics

Ross Spoon

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 2, 2021

Abstract

The personal experience of events such as financial crises and natural disasters can alter economic preferences. We administered a repeated cross-sectional preference survey during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, collecting three bi-weekly samples from participants recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. The survey elicits economic preferences, self-reported fear of the pandemic, and beliefs about economic and health consequences. Preferences varied over time and across regions, and self-reported fear of the pandemic explains this variation. These findings suggest caution with regard to the generalizability of some types of experimental work during times of heightened fear.

Keywords: COVID-19, Economic Preferences, Risk, Time Preferences, Fear

JEL Classification: D91, H59, I19

Suggested Citation

Alsharawy, Abdelaziz and Ball, Sheryl B. and Smith, Alec and Spoon, Ross, Fear of COVID-19 Changes Economic Preferences: Evidence from a Repeated Cross-Sectional Mturk Survey (February 2, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3750351 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3750351

Abdelaziz Alsharawy

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Sheryl B. Ball

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Department of Economics ( email )

3021 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Alec Smith (Contact Author)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Department of Economics ( email )

3016 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.vt.edu

Ross Spoon

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

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