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Substitution of social concerns under the Covid-19 pandemic

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

Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck

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 experimental evidence for eight consecutive weeks during April-May 2020 for Austria, testing the extent to which Covid-19 concerns might 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 Euro 3 that they can distribute between themselves and different charities. While participants in one treatment have the opportunity to donate, if any, to eight different charities including a rich set of social concerns (Baseline), participants in a second treatment can choose to donate, if any, to the same charities and, in addition, to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (Covid-19). In a third treatment, participants can only decide on distributing the Euro 3 between themselves and the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund (Covid-19 Only). Our results show that introducing the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund does not significantly change aggregate donations (donations represent 76.3% of endowment in Baseline and 70.2% in Covid-19, t(584) = 1.938, p = 0.053, n = 585). But, given positive donations to the Covid19 Solidarity Response Fund, this entails significantly lower donations to the other eight charities (76.3% in Baseline and 60.8% in Covid-19, t(584) = 5.868, p

Keywords: Charitable donation; Covid-19 pandemic; climate crisis; poverty; substitution of social concerns (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D64 D9 I3 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 35 pages
Date: 2020
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp and nep-hea
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Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2020-30