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Explaining and measuring tolerant behavior


  • Caterina, Liberati
  • Riccarda, Longaretti
  • Alessandra, Michelangeli


In recent studies, there has been a growing interest towards tolerance and its implications in the socio-economic system. This paper aims to contribute to this flourishing research area into two directions. First, we develop a theoretical framework to explain individual’s tolerant attitudes without necessarily resorting to altruistic preferences. Second, this paper addresses the issue of measuring tolerance when information about several dimensions of tolerance is available and data are of Likert’s scale type. To show how our new measure of tolerance works in practice, we carry out a case study using an Italian recent survey asking the opinion of university students about different subjects, such as interreligious dialogue, women/religion relationship, religion/death relationship, multicultural society, and homosexuality. We, finally, highlight the key policy implications arising from our study.

Suggested Citation

  • Caterina, Liberati & Riccarda, Longaretti & Alessandra, Michelangeli, 2019. "Explaining and measuring tolerant behavior," Working Papers 400, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:400

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    Economic behavior; social interactions; methodology.;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation

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