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Substitution of social sustainability concerns under the Covid-19 pandemic

Esther Blanco, Alexandra Baier, Felix Holzmeister (), Tarek Jaber-Lopez and Natalie Struwe

Ecological Economics, 2022, vol. 192, issue C

Abstract: Think tanks and political leaders have raised concerns about the implications that the Covid-19 response and reconstruction might have on other social objectives that were setting the international agenda before the Covid-19 pandemic. We present evidence for eight consecutive weeks during April–May 2020 for Austria, testing the extent to which Covid-19 concerns substitute other social concerns such as the climate crisis or the protection of vulnerable sectors of the society. We measure behavior in a simple donation task where participants receive €3 that they can distribute between themselves and a list of charitable organizations, which vary between treatments. We consider initially a list of eight charities, including a broad set of social concerns. Results show that introducing the WHO Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund significantly reduces the sum of donations to the original eight charities. This derives from two effects: First, introducing the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund does not significantly change aggregate donations. Second, results point to a high support to the WHO Covid-19 Fund. Overall, our results indicate that donations to diverse social concerns are partially substituted by donations to the Covid-19 fund; yet, this substitution does not fully replace all other social concerns. Results are robust to a 10-fold increase in endowment, with decisions made over €30.

Keywords: Charitable donation; Covid-19 pandemic; Climate crisis; Poverty; Substitution of social concerns (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D64 D9 I3 L3 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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Working Paper: Substitution of social sustainability concerns under the Covid-19 pandemic (2022)
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2021.107259

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