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Frey, B., Savage, D. A., Trogler, B. (2010). Noblesse oblige? Determinants of survival in a life-and-death situation. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 74, 1–11

This paper explores what determines the survival of people in a life-and-death situation. The sinking of the Titanic allows us to inquire whether pro-social behavior matters in such extreme situations. This event can be considered a quasi-natural experiment. The empirical results suggest that social norms such as ‘women and children first’ persevered during such an event. Women of reproductive age and crew members had a higher probability of survival. Passenger class, fitness, group size, and cultural background also mattered.

Authors

Frey, Bruno S.

Bruno S. Frey is Full Professor of Economics at the University of Zurich, Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Science at the Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick, UK, and Research Director of CREMA - Centre for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts, Switzerland. He is...

Savage, David

David Savage is a PhD student in the School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.

Torgler, Benno

Benno Torgler is Professor of Economics in the School of Economics and Finance, QUT. He is also a Research Fellow of the Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in Switzerland and a CESifo Research Affiliate. Previously he was: a Research Affiliate and Lecturer...

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