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Altruistic Responses of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks: Some Evidence from Dictator Games

Author

Listed:
  • Linda Kamas

    (Santa Clara University)

  • Sandy Baum

    (Skidmore College)

  • Anne Preston

    () (Haverford College)

Abstract

This paper uses economic experiments to compare altruistic behavior before and immediately after the terrorist attacks. Before September 11 the authors had conducted dictator games in which students were given the option of donating their earnings from the experiment to the American Red Cross. The authors repeated the experiment in late September after the attacks. This paper compares giving before and after the terrorist attacks and evaluates the extent to which altruistic responses before and after the attack differ by gender, major. religious practice and income level. The authors find significant differences in altruistic behavior of women and men. Women donated more than men both before and after the terrorist attacks. In addition, far more women acted as perfect altruists, giving all the money in the experiment to the Red Cross, while far more men acted perfectly selfishly by keeping all the money. Both genders increased giving significantly after the terrorist attacks.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda Kamas & Sandy Baum & Anne Preston, 2005. "Altruistic Responses of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks: Some Evidence from Dictator Games," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 551-562, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:31:y:2005:i:4:p:551-562
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume31/V31N4P551_562.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-735, May.
    2. James Andreoni & Lise Vesterlund, 2001. "Which is the Fair Sex? Gender Differences in Altruism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 293-312.
    3. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    4. Nancy Buchan & Rachel Croson, 1999. "Gender and Culture: International Experimental Evidence from Trust Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 386-391, May.
    5. Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
    6. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 1996. "Altruism in Anonymous Dictator Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 181-191, October.
    7. Stephanie Seguino & Thomas Stevens & Mark Lutz, 1996. "Gender and cooperative behavior: economic man rides alone," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 1-21.
    8. Bolton, Gary E. & Katok, Elena, 1995. "An experimental test for gender differences in beneficent behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 287-292, June.
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