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Gift-exchange in society and the social integration of refugees: Evidence from a field, a laboratory, and a survey experiment

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  • Jeworrek, Sabrina
  • Leisen, Bernd Josef
  • Mertins, Vanessa

Abstract

Refugee integration needs broad support from society, but only a minority is actively engaged. Given that most individuals reciprocate kind behaviour, we examine the idea that the proportion of supporters is increasing as a reciprocal response to refugees' contributions to society through volunteering. Our nationwide survey experiment shows that the intentions to contribute time and money rise significantly when citizens learn about refugees' pro-social activities. Importantly, this result holds for individuals who have not been in contact to refugees so far. We complement this investigation by experiments in the lab and the field - which confirm our findings for actual behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeworrek, Sabrina & Leisen, Bernd Josef & Mertins, Vanessa, 2019. "Gift-exchange in society and the social integration of refugees: Evidence from a field, a laboratory, and a survey experiment," IWH Discussion Papers 17/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwhdps:172019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    gift-exchange; reciprocity; refugees; integration; field experiment; laboratory experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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