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Calamities, Common Interests, Shared Identity: What Shapes Altruism and Reciprocity?

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  • Cevat Giray Aksoy
  • Antonio Cabrales
  • Mathias Dolls
  • Ruben Durante
  • Lisa Windsteiger

Abstract

We conduct a large-scale survey experiment in nine European countries to study how priming a major crisis (COVID-19), common economic interests, and a shared identity influences altruism, reciprocity and trust of EU citizens. We find that priming the COVID-19 pandemic increases altruism and reciprocity towards compatriots, citizens of other EU countries, and non-EU citizens. Priming common European values also boosts altruism and reciprocity but only towards compatriots and fellow Europeans.Priming common economic interests has no tangible impact on behaviour. Trust in others is not affected by any treatment. Our results are consistent with the parochial altruism hypothesis, which asserts that because altruism arises out of inter-group conflict, humans show a tendency to favor members of their own groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Cevat Giray Aksoy & Antonio Cabrales & Mathias Dolls & Ruben Durante & Lisa Windsteiger, 2021. "Calamities, Common Interests, Shared Identity: What Shapes Altruism and Reciprocity?," EconPol Working Paper 64, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:econwp:_64
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies

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