Individual Well-Being and the Allocation of Time Before and After the Boston Marathon Terrorist Bombing
Andrew Clark (PSE – Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques – ENS Paris – École normale supérieure – Paris – INRA – Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique – EHESS – École des hautes études en sciences sociales – École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) – CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE – Paris School of Economics) ; Elena Stancanelli (PSE – Paris School of Economics, CES – Centre d’économie de la Sorbonne – UP1 – Université Panthéon-Sorbonne – CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
There is a small literature on the economic costs of terrorism. We consider the effects of the Boston marathon bombing on Americans’ well-being and time allocation. We exploit data from the American Time Use Survey and Well-Being Module in the days around the terrorist attack to implement a regression-discontinuity design. The bombing led to a significant and large drop of about 1.5 points in well-being, on a scale of one to six, for residents of the States close to Boston. The happiness of American women also dropped significantly, by almost a point, regardless of the State of residence. Labor supply and other time use were not significantly affected. We find no well-being effect of the Sandy Hook shootings, suggesting that terrorism is different in nature from other violent deaths.
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