Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group (BERG), Bamberg
In this article, we analyze whether the financial strain of poverty systematically alters the allocation of attention. We address two types of attention: attention to unexpectedly occurring events and attention to primary tasks that require focus. We show that the poor are significantly more likely than the rich to notice unexpected events. In addition, we find evidence that the poor notice unexpected events at the expense of attention to the primary task only if the task is sufficiently difficult.