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Dissertation zugänglich unter
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-63953
URL: http://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/volltexte/2013/6395/


Essays on Pro-Social Behavior of Individuals, Firms and States

Aufsätze zu Pro-Sozialem Verhalten von Individuen, Firmen und Staaten

Schmitz, Jan

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 Dokument 1.pdf (1.608 KB) 


Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): Social Preferences
Basisklassifikation: 83.00
Institut: Wirtschaftswissenschaften
DDC-Sachgruppe: Wirtschaft
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Hauptberichter: Lange, Andreas (Prof. Dr.)
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 30.09.2013
Erstellungsjahr: 2013
Publikationsdatum: 07.10.2013
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: Pro-social behavior is part of our everyday life and plays an important role in many situations. Many people support friends and acquaintances, some even help strangers. Quite a lot of individuals donate clothes and give to charity.
But pro-social behavior can not only be observed on the personal level. Numerous firms initiate working mother programs, support schools, hospitals and sport clubs by donations in form of money, equipment or services. Even nation states show preferences for social causes. They provide welfare services for the poor and development aid to needy countries. Subject of the presented work are specific approaches to pro-social behavior of these economic actors. Many economic and psychological studies have analyzed pro-social behavior on the individual level already (see Fehr and Schmidt (2006) for a review). Individuals’ motivations for doing good are diverse. Pro-social behavior might be driven through altruism. On the other hand, Andreoni (1989) points to the fact that social behavior is not entirely unselfish and that individuals receive a positive feeling, the so called ’warm glow’, from benevolent acts that increase their utility. Following the idea of selfishness in prima-facie unselfish actions, some authors point to the fact that good deeds are, at least in parts, performed to signal generosity (Harbaugh, 1998b,a, Glazer and Konrad, 1996, Hardy and Vugt, 2006). In other words, individuals might engage pro-socially to increase their reputation. In other words, good deeds can increases individual utility. Further, studies show that individuals systematically incorporate the utility of other actors into their preferences (Charness and Rabin, 2002, Andreoni et al., 2003). Thus, economist have increasingly turned away from the concept of utility maximization that takes individuals as purely selfish motivated. Although the concept of homo economicus could also include non-egoistic preferences, economists utilize concepts of sociology and social psychology. They do so in order to explain the non-selfish behavior of economic agents that drives market outcomes. Despite the fact, that most studies on pro-social behavior consider individuals, motivations for– and economic concepts of – pro-social behavior can be transferred to the broader firm and international level. However, due to the fact that a firm has many stakeholders with individual preferences, motivations for firms to behave pro-socially are harder to detect. On the one hand, Corporate Social Responsibility can be driven by pro-social preferences of managers and other stakeholders (Caroll, 1979). On the other hand, it can be to increase a firm’s profit (Baron, 2001). A state’s considerations for doing good are also twofold. Sates grant development aid, for example, due to, on the one hand, self-interest driven preferences and, on the other hand, social and altruistic motivations (Berthélemy, 2006). The cumulative thesis consist of 5 articles where every single paper is fully selfcontained and can be read on its own. The first paper, ’One Good Deed a Day–Experimental Testing of Pro-Social Saturation’ is single-authored and is under review at Economics Letters. It has been presented at and improved from numerous comments at four occasions, e. g. the IMEBE conference 2012 in Castellón and the ESA conference 2012 in New York. The second article, ’Inter-Charity Competition for Individuals’ Contributions – Experimental Testing of Substitution–, Complementary–, and Crowding Out Effects’ also is single-authored. It is currently under review at the Scandinavian Journal of Economics. It was presented at various seminars, most notably at the Behavioral Economics Seminar of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in 2013 and the Adam Smith Workshop of the University of Hamburg in 2013. The third paper, ’Moral Courage in the Lab – Experimental Testing of Solidarity’ is joint work with Jannis Liedtke from the University of Hamburg. The paper has also been presented at and improved from comments received at the ESA conference 2012 in New York. The fourth paper, ’Corporate Social Responsibility: A Microeconomic Review of the Literature’ is co-authored with Jan Schrader from the KfW Development Bank, Frankfurt. It was revised according to comments from four anonymous referees and is has accepted for publication in the Journal of Economic Surveys. The fifth paper ’Behind the Scenes – What determines elections of non-permanent members into the UNSC? An empirical analysis’ is co-authored with Johannes Schwarze from the University of Hamburg. The paper has been presented at a total of five conferences and seminars. In particular, the paper was improved by comments received at the ETSG conference 2011 in Copenhagen, the EALE conference 2011 in Hamburg, the PEIO conference 2012 in Philadelphia and two internal seminars of the University of Hamburg.

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