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Calamity, Aid and Indirect Reciprocity: the Long Run Impact of Tsunami on Altruism

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Abstract

Natural disasters have been shown to produce effects on social capital, risk and time preferences of victims. We run experiments on altruistic, time and risk preferences on a sample of Sri Lankan microfinance borrowers affected/unaffected by the tsunami shock in 2004 at a 7-year distance from the event (a distance longer than in most empirical studies). We find that people who suffered at least a damage from the event behave in dictator games less altruistically as senders (and expect less as receivers) than those who do not report any damage. Interestingly, among damaged, those who suffered also house damages or injuries send (expect) more than those reporting only losses to the economic activity. Since the former are shown to receive significantly more help than the latter we interpret this last finding as a form of indirect reciprocity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 239.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 06 Jul 2012
Date of revision: 06 Jul 2012
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:239

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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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Web: http://www.ceistorvergata.it

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Keywords: tsunami; disaster recovery; social preferences; altruism; development aid;

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Cited by:
  1. Yuichi Ishimura & Kenji Takeuchi & Fredrik Carlsson, 2014. "YIMBY or NIMBY? Municipalities' reaction to disaster waste from the Great East Japan Earthquake," Discussion Papers 1413, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
  2. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Chisako Yamane & Shoko Yamane & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2014. "Trust and Happiness: Comparative Study Before and After the Great East Japan Earthquake," ISER Discussion Paper, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University 0904, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  3. Pierluigi Conzo, 2014. "Trust and Cheating in Sri Lanka: The Role of Experimentally-Induced Emotions about Tsunam," CSEF Working Papers, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy 355, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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