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Gift-exchange in Society and the Social Integration of Refugees: Evidence from a Field, a Laboratory, and a Survey Experiment

Refugee integration needs broad support from society, but only a minority is actively engaged. Given that most individuals reciprocate kind behaviour, we examine the idea that the proportion of supporters is increasing as a reciprocal response to refugees’ contributions to society through volunteering. Our nationwide survey experiment shows that the intentions to contribute time and money rise significantly when citizens learn about refugees’ pro-social activities. Importantly, this result holds for individuals who have not been in contact to refugees so far. We complement this investigation by experiments in the lab and the field – which confirm our findings for actual behaviour.

15. August 2019

Authors Sabrina Jeworrek Vanessa Mertins Bernd Josef Leisen

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