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Calamity, Aid and Indirect Reciprocity: the Long Run Impact of Tsunami on Altruism

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Natural disasters have been shown to produce effects on social capital, risk and time preferences of victims. We run experiments on altruistic preferences on a sample of Sri Lankan microfinance borrowers affected/unaffected by the tsunami shock in 2004 at a 7-year distance from the event (a distance longer than in most empirical studies). We find that people who suffered at least a damage from the event behave in dictator games less altruistically as senders (and expect less as receivers) than those who do not report any damage. Interestingly, among damaged, those who suffered also house damages or injuries send (expect) more than those reporting only losses to the economic activity. Since the former are shown to receive significantly more help than the latter we interpret this last finding as a form of indirect reciprocity.

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  • Leonardo Becchetti & Stefano Castriota & Pierluigi Conzo, 2012. "Calamity, Aid and Indirect Reciprocity: the Long Run Impact of Tsunami on Altruism," CSEF Working Papers 316, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:316
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    2. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Chisako Yamane & Shoko Yamane & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2015. "Trust and Happiness: Comparative Study Before and After the Great East Japan Earthquake," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 919-935, September.
    3. Ishimura, Yuichi & Takeuchi, Kenji & Carlsson, Fredrik, 2014. "NIMBY or YIMBY? Municipalities' reaction to disaster waste from the Great East Japan Earthquake," Working Papers in Economics 597, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. Pierluigi Conzo, 2014. "Trust and Cheating in Sri Lanka: The Role of Experimentally-Induced Emotions about Tsunam," CSEF Working Papers 355, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 20 Apr 2015.
    5. Chuang, Yating & Schechter, Laura, 2015. "Stability of experimental and survey measures of risk, time, and social preferences: A review and some new results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 151-170.
    6. Hallegatte,Stephane & Bangalore,Mook & Jouanjean,Marie Agnes, 2016. "Higher losses and slower development in the absence of disaster risk management investments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7632, The World Bank.
    7. Victor STEPHANE, 2016. "How Do Natural Disasters Affect Saving Behavior?," Working Papers 201621, CERDI.

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    Keywords

    tsunami; disaster recovery; social preferences; altruism; development aid;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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