Friday, December 21, 2012

End of the World...

In case any of you are preparing for the end of the world (see here in case you haven't been paying attention; if you want to be prepared, here is a shopping list, lucky for you there is amazon next day delivery...), please make yourself available to those of us who think that maybe we get to keep living and working...

My former student Ned Augenblick has been using a former episode of such beliefs (though luckily more restricted in terms of who believes in it). Turns out that people who like worrying about the end of the world can collect many such opportunities (though of course then you'll always feel that this is the last time...). It would be great if someone could replicate the results of Ned and coauthors.

Ned, together with Jesse Cunha, Ernesto Dal Bo and Justin Rao, "The economics of Faith: Using an Apocalyptic Prophecy to Elicit Religious Beliefs in the Field". The abstract reads
          "We model religious faith as a "demand for beliefs," following the logic of the Pascalian wager. We then demonstrate how an experimental intervention can exploit standard elicitation techniques to measure religious belief by varying prizes associated with making choices contrary to one's belief in a, crucially, falsi able religious proposition. We implemented this approach with a group that expected the "End of the World" to happen on May 21, 2011 by o ffering prizes payable before and after May 21st. The results suggest the existence of a demand for extreme, sincere beliefs that was unresponsive to experimental manipulations in price."


Happy Winter Solstice to you all

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