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Pro-social behavior after a disaster: parochial or universal? Evidence from a natural experiment in Belgium

Pierre-Guillaume Méon () and Philip Verwimp ()

No 16-054, Working Papers CEB from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: In the midst of an ongoing nationwide campaign to collect funds for famine relief in Africa, a storm struck a locally famous outdoor music festival in Belgium. Five participants died, and several hundreds were wounded. We use this event to determine whether pro-social behavior, measured by donations to the campaign, can be affected by a local disaster. Applying a differences-in-differences identification strategy to campaign contributions at the municipality-day level, we show that, after the event, the municipalities affected by the disaster gave more money to the famine relief in Africa campaign than non-affected municipalities. We interpret this finding as evidence that donations to a faraway cause can be positively affected by a local disaster.

Keywords: Altruism; Charity; NGO; Giving; Disaster (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D10 D64 L31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30 p.
Date: 2016-12-31
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-soc
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Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/242497