Every Man for Himself! Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters
Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of ‘women and children first’ gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew give priority to passengers. We analyze a database of 18 maritime disasters spanning three centuries, covering the fate of over 15,000 individuals of more than 30 nationalities. Our results provide a new picture of maritime disasters. Women have a distinct survival disadvantage compared to men. Captains and crew survive at a significantly higher rate than passengers. We also find that the captain has the power to enforce normative behavior, that the gender gap in survival rates has declined, that women have a larger disadvantage in British shipwrecks, and that there seems to be no association between duration of a disaster and the impact of social norms. Taken together, our findings show that behavior in life-and-death situation is best captured by the expression ‘Every man for himself’.
|Date of creation:||10 Apr 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden|
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- Bruno S. Frey & David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2011.
"Behavior under Extreme Conditions: The Titanic Disaster,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 209-222, Winter.
- 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.
- Bruno S. Frey & David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2008. "Noblesse Oblige? Determinants of Survival in a Life and Death Situation," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-21, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Bruno S. Frey & David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2008. "Noblesse Oblige? Determinants of Survival in a Life and Death Situation," IEW - Working Papers 389, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bruno S. Frey & David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2008. "Noblesse Oblige? Determinants of Survival in a Life and Death Situation," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 237, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
- Bruno S. Frey & David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2008. "Noblesse Oblige? Determinants of Survival in a Life and Death Situation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2425, CESifo Group Munich.
- Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2005. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521848053.
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