IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v74y2010i1-2p1-11.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Noblesse oblige? Determinants of survival in a life-and-death situation

Author

Listed:
  • Frey, Bruno S.
  • Savage, David A.
  • Torgler, Benno

Abstract

This paper explores what determines the survival of people in a life-and-death situation. The sinking of the Titanic allows us to inquire whether pro-social behavior matters in such extreme situations. This event can be considered a quasi-natural experiment. The empirical results suggest that social norms such as 'women and children first' persevered during such an event. Women of reproductive age and crew members had a higher probability of survival. Passenger class, fitness, group size, and cultural background also mattered.

Suggested Citation

  • Frey, Bruno S. & Savage, David A. & Torgler, Benno, 2010. "Noblesse oblige? Determinants of survival in a life-and-death situation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-2), pages 1-11, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:74:y:2010:i:1-2:p:1-11
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167-2681(10)00025-9
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    2. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-283.
    3. Smith, Adam, 1759. "The Theory of Moral Sentiments," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1759.
    4. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    5. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1987. "Economic Behaviour in Adversity," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226342825.
    6. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
    7. Boyer, George R., 1988. "What Did Unions Do in Nineteenth-Century Britain?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 319-332, June.
    8. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 285-300, October.
    9. Ochs, Jack & Roth, Alvin E, 1989. "An Experimental Study of Sequential Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 355-384, June.
    10. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    11. Henrich, Joseph, 2004. "Cultural group selection, coevolutionary processes and large-scale cooperation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 3-35, January.
    12. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
    13. Tavares, Jose, 2004. "The open society assesses its enemies: shocks, disasters and terrorist attacks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1039-1070, July.
    14. Dufwenberg, Martin & Kirchsteiger, Georg, 2004. "A theory of sequential reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 268-298, May.
    15. Drago, Robert & Garvey, Gerald T, 1998. "Incentives for Helping on the Job: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, January.
    16. Pollak, Robert A, 1976. "Interdependent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 309-320, June.
    17. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    18. Martin Gorsky, 1998. "The growth and distribution of English friendly societies in the early nineteenth century," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 51(3), pages 489-511, August.
    19. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gächter, 2003. "Strong Reciprocity, Human Cooperation and the Enforcement of Social Norms," Microeconomics 0305008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-741, September.
    21. Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 823-866.
    22. Mukesh Eswaran & Ashok Kotwal, 2004. "A theory of gender differences in parental altruism," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 918-950, November.
    23. Carpenter, R. Charli, 2003. "‘Women and Children First’: Gender, Norms, and Humanitarian Evacuation in the Balkans 1991–95," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 661-694, October.
    24. Mark Skidmore & Hideki Toya, 2002. "Do Natural Disasters Promote Long-Run Growth?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 664-687, October.
    25. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    26. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher, 2004. "Social norms and human cooperation," Macroeconomics 0409026, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    27. Uri Gneezy & John A List, 2006. "Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1365-1384, September.
    28. repec:feb:artefa:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2010. "Perceptions of Fairness and Allocation Systems," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 229-248, September.
    30. Elster, Jon, 1996. "Rationality and the Emotions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1386-1397, September.
    31. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    32. Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "From Homo Economicus to Homo Sapiens," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 133-141, Winter.
    33. Frey, Bruno S. & Pommerehne, Werner W., 1993. "On the fairness of pricing -- An empirical survey among the general population," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 295-307, April.
    34. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. On the ethics of research cloning
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-04-30 19:51:00
    2. Bruno Frey is in trouble
      by matthiasgreiff in Matthias Greiff on 2011-07-07 14:28:14
    3. On the ethics of research cloning
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-04-30 19:51:00
    4. Bruno Frey is in trouble
      by matthiasgreiff in Matthias Greiff on 2011-07-07 14:28:14
    5. Fairness, culture and selfish American men
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-01-20 16:41:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Savage David A., 2016. "Surviving the Storm: Behavioural Economics in the Conflict Environment," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 22(2), pages 105-129, April.
    2. Mitesh Kataria & Natalia Montinari, 2012. "Risk, Entitlements and Fairness Bias: Explaining Preferences for Redistribution in Multi-person Setting," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-061, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    3. Stefano Castriota & Sandro Rondinella & Mirco Tonin, 2022. "Does Social Capital Matter? A Study of Hit-and-Run in US Counties," CESifo Working Paper Series 9691, CESifo.
    4. David A Savage, 2016. "Those left behind: Euthanasia, suicide and other regarding preferences," Rationality and Society, , vol. 28(4), pages 439-452, November.
    5. repec:qut:qubewp:wp014 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lacroix, Jean & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Oosterlinck, Kim, 2019. "A Positive Effect of Political Dynasties: the Case of France's 1940 Enabling Act," CEPR Discussion Papers 13871, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Alexander L. Davis & Nadja R. Jehli & John H. Miller & Roberto A. Weber, 2011. "Generosity across contexts," ECON - Working Papers 050, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Mar 2015.
    8. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "Effect of Free Media on Views Regarding Nuclear Energy after the Fukushima Accident," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 132-141, February.
    9. Richter, Andries & Grasman, Johan, 2013. "The transmission of sustainable harvesting norms when agents are conditionally cooperative," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 202-209.
    10. Sheu, Jiuh-Biing, 2014. "Post-disaster relief–service centralized logistics distribution with survivor resilience maximization," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 288-314.
    11. Castriota, Stefano & Rondinella, Sandro & Tonin, Mirco, 2022. "Does Social Capital Matter? A Study of Hit-and-Run in US Counties," IZA Discussion Papers 15212, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Elinder, Mikael & Erixson, Oscar, 2012. "Every Man for Himself! Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters," Working Paper Series 913, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    13. Andrew Greenland & Damon Proulx & David A Savage, 2020. "Dying for the cause: The rationality of martyrs, suicide bombers and self-immolators," Rationality and Society, , vol. 32(1), pages 93-115, February.
    14. Duha Altindag & Samuel Cole & R. Alan Seals Jr, 2022. "The Price of COVID-19 Risk in a Public University," Papers 2204.00894, arXiv.org.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.
    2. repec:qut:qubewp:wp014 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bogliacino, Francesco & Codagnone, Cristiano, 2021. "Microfoundations, behaviour, and evolution: Evidence from experiments," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 372-385.
    4. Axel Ockenfels & Dirk Sliwka & Peter Werner, 2015. "Bonus Payments and Reference Point Violations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(7), pages 1496-1513, July.
    5. Croson, Rachel & Konow, James, 2009. "Social preferences and moral biases," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 201-212, March.
    6. Eduard Marinov, 2017. "The 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 6, pages 117-159.
    7. James Alm & Carolyn J. Bourdeaux, 2013. "Applying Behavioral Economics to the Public Sector," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 206(3), pages 91-134, September.
    8. Marco Fongoni & Alex Dickson, 2015. "A theory of wage setting behavior," Working Papers 1505, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2016.
    9. Breitmoser, Yves & Vorjohann, Pauline, 2018. "Welfare-Based Altruism," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 89, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    10. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    11. Grossmann, Volker, 2002. "Is it rational to internalize the personal norm that one should reciprocate?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 27-48, February.
    12. Gill, David & Stone, Rebecca, 2015. "Desert and inequity aversion in teams," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 42-54.
    13. Bogliacino, Francesco & Grimalda, Gianluca & Pipke, David, 2021. "Kind or contented? An investigation of the gift exchange hypothesis in a natural field experiment in Colombia," OSF Preprints xmjaq, Center for Open Science.
    14. Dorian Jullien, 2018. "Under Risk, Over Time, Regarding Other People: Language and Rationality Within Three Dimensions [Face au risque, dans le temps, par rapport aux autres : langage et rationalité dans trois dimensions," Post-Print halshs-01651042, HAL.
    15. Currie, Janet & Lin, Wanchuan & Meng, Juanjuan, 2013. "Social networks and externalities from gift exchange: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 19-30.
    16. Jacobs Martin, 2016. "Accounting for Changing Tastes: Approaches to Explaining Unstable Individual Preferences," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 67(2), pages 121-183, August.
    17. Bart J. Wilson, 2012. "Contra Private Fairness," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 407-435, April.
    18. Dickson, Alex & Fongoni, Marco, 2019. "Asymmetric reference-dependent reciprocity, downward wage rigidity, and the employment contract," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 409-429.
    19. Gary Charness, 2004. "Attribution and Reciprocity in an Experimental Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 665-688, July.
    20. Committee, Nobel Prize, 2017. "Richard H. Thaler: Integrating Economics with Psychology," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2017-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
    21. Fongoni, Marco & Dickson, Alex, 2015. "A Theory of Wage Setting Behavior," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-57, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decision under pressure Altruism Social norms Interdependent preferences Excess demand;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Economic Logic blog

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:74:y:2010:i:1-2:p:1-11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.