|Bruno S. Frey David A. Savage Benno Torgler||Frey, Bruno and Savage, David A. and Torgler, Benno (2010)||Frey, Bruno and Savage, David A. and Torgler, Benno||Bruno S. Frey, David A. Savage, and Benno Torgler|
|Title||Noblesse Oblige? Determinants of Survival in a Life and Death Situation||Interaction of natural survival instincts and internalized social norms exploring the Titanic and Lusitania disasters||Who perished on the Titanic? The importance of social norms||Behavior under Extreme Conditions: The Titanic Disaster|
|Journal||Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(11)||Rationality and Society February 23(1)||Journal of Economic Perspectives 25(1)|
|date of final publication||May 2010 (first working paper published in September 2008)||Oktober 2010||February 2011||2011|
|event looked at||sinking of Titanic||sinking of Titanic and Lousitania||sinking of Titanic||sinking of Titanic and Lousitania|
|data||data on Titanic passengers from Encyclopedia Titanicia||The Titanic data consist of 2,207 persons confirmed to be aboard the R.M.S. Titanic. The data was gathered from |
the Encyclopedia Titanica and crosschecked with other sources. The Lusitania data consist of 1,949 persons confirmed to be aboard the R.M.S. Lusitania. The data was gathered from from Wreck Commissioner's Court (1915), O'Sullivan P (2000) (“The Lusitania: Unraveling the Mysteries”), Preston D (2002) (“Willful Murder”)
|data about 2,207 persons who were on board of the Titanic, Encyclopedia Titanica (2008) was used as the primary source, and the data were cross-checked against several other resources||individual-level data on 2207 people (passengers and crew) on the Titanic, from the “Encyclopedia Titanica” and crosschecked with other sources plus individual level data on people on the Lousitanie from the “Lusitania Resource”|
|specifications looked at||gender / age group (0-15, 16-50, 50+) / ticket class / passengers travelling alone or in groups / function (crew members vs. passengers), nationality||gender / age groups (0-15, 15-35) / ticket class / Lousitania vs Titanic||physical strength (adult males) / economic ressources (ticket class) / nationality /social aspects (travelling alone vs. travelling in groups)||gender / age groups ( passengers travelling alone or in groups (0-15, 16-50) / function (crew members vs. passengers), nationality / Lousitania vs. Titanic|
|research outline||"This paper explores what determines the survival of people in a life-and-death situation. The sinking of the Titanic allows us to inquire whether pro-social behavior matters in such extreme situations. This event can be considered a quasi-natural experiment."||"To understand human behavior, it is important to know under what conditions people deviate from selfish rationality. This study explores the interaction of natural survival instincts and internalized social norms using data on the sinking of the Titanic and the Lusitania."||"This paper seeks to empirically identify what factors make it more or less likely for people to survive in a life-threatening situation. Three factors relate to individual attributes of the persons onboard: physical strength, economic resources, and nationality. Two relate to social aspects: social support and social norms. The Titanic disaster is a life-or-death situation."||"For social scientists, evidence about how people behaved as the For social scientists, evidence about how people behaved as the Titanic sunk offers a quasi-natural i sunk offers a quasi-natural field experiment to explore behavior under extreme eld experiment to explore behavior under extreme conditions of life and death."|
|"The empirical results suggest that social norms such as 'women and children first' persevered during such an event. Women of reproductive age and crew members had a higher probability of survival. Passenger class, fitness, group size, and cultural background also mattered."||"On the Lusitania, selfish behavior dominated (which corresponds to the classical homo oeconomicus); on the Titanic, social norms and social status (class) dominated, which contradicts standard economics."||"The empirical analysis supports the notion that social norms are a key determinant in extreme situations of life or death"|
" It is not particularly surprising that those with greater economic resources were more likely to survive. In contrast, it is difficult to predict which nationalities were more likely to save themselves. That the British were less likely to survive than the Americans is an empirical result in need of a serious theoretical explanation.
Similarly, it is not a priori clear whether it is advantageous to travel alone or to travel in the company of family and friends. The result that social support was indeed beneficial in surviving the Titanic disaster is therefore of interest. It is also debatable whether social norms, in particular, the saving of women and children first, are indeed followed under conditions of extreme duress. One could also argue that adult males’ stronger physical power could be a decisive factor under these circumstances, but that did not appear to be the case. In the case of the Titanic disaster, the women and children indeed had a much higher chance of being saved than adult males."
|"The econometric estimates of the factors determining survival during the sinking of the sinking of the Titanic produce a coherent story. However, this story is not necessarily in line with the simple model of selfish homo oeconomicus. |
While people in their prime were more likely to be saved, it was women—rather than men—who had a better chance of being saved. Children also had a higher chance of surviving. At the time of the disaster, the unwritten social norm of “saving women and children first” seems to have been enforced.
The comparison between the Titanic and the Lusitania suggests that when time is scarce, individual self-interested flight behaviour predominates, while altruism and social norms and power through social status become more important if there sufficient time for them to evolve."
|quoted papers written by same authors||Frey, B. S. (1997). Not Just for the Money. An Economic Tehory of Personal Motivation. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. |
Frey, B. S. and W. Pommerehne (1993). On the Fairness of Pricing – An Empirical Survey Among the General Population, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. 20: 295-307,
Savage, D. and B. Torgler (2008). Fairness and Allocation Systems, mimeo. Queensland
University of Technology.
Torgler, B. (2007). Tax Compliance and Tax Morale: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
|Frey BS ed. (1999) Economics as a Science of Human Behavior (Kluwer Academic |
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