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Title:Altruism in society: Evidence from a natural experiment involving commuters PDF Logo
Authors:Mujcic, Redzo
Frijters, Paul
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Discussion paper series // Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 5648
Abstract:We study social preferences in the form of altruism using data on 959 interactions between random commuters at selected traffic intersections in the city of Brisbane, Australia. By observing real decisions of individual commuters on whether to stop (give way) for others, we find evidence of (i) gender discrimination by both men and women, with women discriminating relatively more against the same sex than men, and men discriminating in favour of the opposite sex more than women; (ii) status-seeking and envy, with individuals who drive a more luxury motor vehicle having a 0.18 lower probability of receiving a kind treatment from others of low status, however this result improves when the decision maker is also of high status; (iii) strong peer effects, with those commuters accompanied by other passengers being 25 percent more likely to sacrifice for others; and (iv) an age effect, with mature-aged people eliciting a higher degree of altruism.
Subjects:altruism
social interaction
social discrimination
status
peer effects
commuters
JEL:D64
D03
C90
H11
H77
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-201104193357
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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