Oxytocin, Empathy, Altruism and Charitable Giving: Experimental Evidence from Blood Donations
IWH Discussion Papers,
We conducted a field experiment in the natural setting of blood donations to test how oxytocin relates to empathy and altruism. We randomly assigned blood donors in the Croatian Institute for Transfusion Medicine to three groups with the aim to induce different levels of empathy by showing a neutral video to the donors from the control group and an emotional to the donors from the first and second treatment groups. In addition to watching the emotional video, donors from the second treatment group are given a gift which relates to the emotional story from the video. We find no effect of our treatment on induced levels of oxytocin. Null effects of our treatments could be explained by the above average baseline levels of oxytocin and inability of our treatments to provoke emotional stimuli in blood donors. Nonetheless, for our empathy measures we find the effect of gift exchange on empathic concerns, but not on perspective taking. After our experimental treatments, we followed the return of our blood donors for a whole year. We find that only variable which consistently predicts return for blood donation in stated period is the number of previous donations. From policy perspective it is an important finding. Especially for hospitals and other blood providers when faced with time and resource constraints.
Early Child Care and Labor Supply of Lower-SES Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial
CESifo Working Paper,
We present experimental evidence that enabling access to universal early child care for families with lower socioeconomic status (SES) increases maternal labor supply. Our intervention provides families with customized help for child care applications, resulting in a large increase in enrollment among lower-SES families. The treatment increases lower-SES mothers' full-time employment rates by 9 percentage points (+160%), household income by 10%, and mothers' earnings by 22%. The effect on full-time employment is largely driven by increased care hours provided by child care centers and fathers. Overall, the treatment substantially improves intra-household gender equality in terms of child care duties and earnings.
Business Cycle Characteristics of Mediterranean Economies: a Secular Trend and Cycle Dynamics Perspective
International Economics and Economic Policy,
This study analyzes business cycle characteristics for all 20 major contemporaneous economies bordering the Mediterranean Sea based on annual real gross domestic product series for the period from 1960 to 2019. The region we investigate corresponds to the Mare Internum region of the Imperial Roman Empire during the Nerva-Antonine and early Severan dynasty, i.e., at the time of the maximum extent of the Roman Empire around 100 to 200 CE. The covered area encircles the Mediterranean, including economies now belonging to the European Union as well as acceding countries, Turkey, and the Middle East and North African economies. Using a components-deviation-cycle approach, we assess level trends and relative volatility of output. We also quantify the contribution of various factors to the business cycle variability within a region. We find cyclic commonalities and idiosyncrasies are related to ancient and colonial history and to contemporaneous trade relationships. Caliphate and Ottoman Empire membership as well as colonial rule in the twentieth century and contemporary Muslim share of population are the most promising predictors of business cycle commonalities in the region.
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Financing Choice and Local Economic Growth: Evidence from Brazil
Journal of Economic Growth,
We study how financing non-traditional local activities, conceived here as a proxy for activity diversification, is associated with economic growth. We use municipality-level data from Brazil, a country with large geographical, social, and economic disparities observed across its more than 5500 municipalities. We find that finance to non-traditional local activities associates with higher municipal economic growth, suggesting a positive externality between the non-traditional and traditional sectors. Using large natural disasters in Brazil as sources of unexpected negative events, we find that this association between financing non-traditional local activities and economic growth becomes negative in times of distress. We find that traditional local sectors are more affected than non-traditional sectors following a natural disaster. Precisely because of the non-traditional sector’s dependence on the traditional sector, our results suggest that municipalities should restrengthen their traditional activities during adverse conditions.
01.11.2019 • 23/2019
Presseeinladung zur Verleihung des Max-Planck-Humboldt-Forschungspreises und der Max-Planck-Humboldt-Medaille 2019 in Berlin, Akademie der Künste, 5. November 2019 um 17:00 Uhr mit anschließendem Empfang
Zum zweiten Mal wird der neugestaltete Max-Planck-Humboldt-Forschungspreis von der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft und der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung in Berlin verliehen. Der diesjährige Träger des Preises ist Ufuk Akcigit von der Universität Chicago mit dem Thema: Warum besteht zwischen Ost- und Westdeutschland weiterhin eine wirtschaftliche Kluft?