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

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  • 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
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    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

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    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

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