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National Survey Evidence on Disasters and Relief: Risk Beliefs, Self-Interest, and Compassion

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  • Viscusi, W. Kip
  • Zeckhauser, Richard J.

Abstract

A nationally representative sample of respondents estimated their fatality risks from four types of natural disasters, and indicated whether they favored governmental disaster relief. For all hazards, including auto accident risks, most respondents assessed their risks as being below average, with one-third assessing them as average. Individuals from high-risk states, or with experience with disasters, estimate risks higher, though by less than reasonable calculations require. Four-fifths of our respondents favor government relief for disaster victims, but only one-third do for victims in high-risk areas. Individuals who perceive themselves at higher risk are more supportive of government assistance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Regulation2point0 in its series Working paper with number 435.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:reg:wpaper:435

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  1. Viscusi, W. Kip & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Sacrificing Civil Liberties to Reduce Terrorism Risks," Working Paper Series rwp03-017, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. W. Kip Viscusi & Patricia Born, 2006. "The Catastrophic Effects of Natural Disasters on Insurance Markets," NBER Working Papers 12348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1996. "The Economics of Catastrophes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 12(2-3), pages 113-40, May.
  4. Fischhoff, Baruch, et al, 2003. " Judged Terror Risk and Proximity to the World Trade Center," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 137-51, March-May.
  5. Colin F. Camerer & Howard Kunreuther, 1989. "Decision processes for low probability events: Policy implications," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(4), pages 565-592.
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Cited by:
  1. Fong, Christina M. & Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2007. "What Determines Giving to Hurricane Katrina Victims? Experimental Evidence on Income, Race, and Fairness," Working Paper Series rwp07-032, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Effect of free media on views regarding nuclear energy after the Fukushima accident," MPRA Paper 32540, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2009. "Betting on own knowledge: Experimental test of overconfidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 39-49, February.
  4. W. Viscusi, 2009. "Valuing risks of death from terrorism and natural disasters," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 191-213, June.
  5. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Experience of technological and natural disasters and their impact on the perceived risk of nuclear accidents after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan 2011: A cross-country analysis," MPRA Paper 37016, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Botzen, W.J.W. & Aerts, J.C.J.H. & van den Bergh, J.C.J.M., 2009. "Willingness of homeowners to mitigate climate risk through insurance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2265-2277, June.
  7. Raghav Gaiha & Kenneth Hill & Ganesh Thapa & Varsha S. Kulkarni, 2013. "Have natural disasters become deadlier?," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 18113, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  8. Zur Shapira & Itzhak Venezia, 2007. "On the Preference for Full-Coverage Policies: Why do People buy too much Insurance?," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001505, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Botzen, W.J.W. & van den Bergh, J.C.J.M., 2012. "Risk attitudes to low-probability climate change risks: WTP for flood insurance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 151-166.
  10. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Effect of free media on views regarding the safety of nuclear energy after the 2011 disasters in Japan: evidence using cross-country data," MPRA Paper 32011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Matthew Kahn, 2007. "Environmental disasters as risk regulation catalysts? The role of Bhopal, Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Love Canal, and Three Mile Island in shaping U.S. environmental law," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 17-43, August.
  12. Shapira, Zur & Venezia, Itzhak, 2008. "On the preference for full-coverage policies: Why do people buy too much insurance?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 747-761, November.
  13. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "How does corruption influence perceptions of the risk of nuclear accidents?: cross-country analysis after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan," MPRA Paper 31708, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Zur Shapira & Itzhak Venezia, 2007. "On the Preference for Full-Coverage Policies: Why do People buy too much Insurance?," Discussion Paper Series dp460, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

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