John J. McConnell
403 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN
Institutional Affiliation: Purdue University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2018||Death by Pokémon GO: The Economic and Human Cost of Using Apps While Driving|
with Mara Faccio: w24308
Using police accident reports for Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and exploiting the introduction of the augmented reality game Pokémon GO as a natural experiment, we document a disproportionate increase in crashes and associated vehicular damage, injuries, and fatalities in the vicinity of locations where users can play the game while driving. We estimate the incremental county-wide cost of users playing Pokémon GO while driving to be in the range of $5.2 to $25.5 million over the 148 days following the introduction of the game. Extrapolating these estimates to nation-wide levels yields a total ranging from $2.0 to $7.3 billion.