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Surviving the Titantic Disaster: Economic, Natural and Social Determinants

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  • Frey, Bruno S
  • Savage, David A
  • Torgler, Benno

Abstract

The sinking of the Titanic in April 1912 took the lives of 68 percent of the people aboard. Who survived? It was women and children who had a higher probability of being saved, not men. Likewise, people traveling in first class had a better chance of survival than those in second and third class. British passengers were more likely to perish than members of other nations. This extreme event represents a rare case of a well-documented life and death situation where social norms were enforced. This paper shows that economic analysis can account for human behavior in such situations.

Suggested Citation

  • Frey, Bruno S & Savage, David A & Torgler, Benno, 2009. "Surviving the Titantic Disaster: Economic, Natural and Social Determinants," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt6h24b1vt, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:oplwec:qt6h24b1vt
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Elizabeth Frankenberg & Thomas Gillespie & Samuel Preston & Bondan Sikoki & Duncan Thomas, 2011. "Mortality, The Family and The Indian Ocean Tsunami," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(554), pages 162-182, August.
    2. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Effect of free media on views regarding the safety of nuclear energy after the 2011 disasters in Japan: evidence using cross-country data," MPRA Paper 32011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Konrad, Kai A. & Kovenock, Dan, 2012. "The lifeboat problem," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 552-559.
    4. Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2010. "Social Interactions," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 451-478, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decision under Pressure; Tragic Events and Disasters; Survival; Quasi-Natural Experiment; Altruism;

    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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