56 research outputs found

    Do religious contexts elicit more trust and altruism? An experiment on Facebook

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    We design a decision-making scenario experiment on Facebook to measure subjects’ altruism and trust toward attendees of a religious service, a fitness class and a local music performance. Secular and religious subjects alike display significantly more altruism and trust toward the synagogue attendees than participants at the other two venues. By all measures of religiosity, even the most secular subjects behave more prosocially in the religious venue than in the comparable non-religious settings. We also find that secular subjects are just as altruistic toward synagogue and prayer group members as religious subjects are. These findings support recent theories that emphasize the pivotal role of religious context in arousing high levels of prosociality among those who are religious. Finally, our results offer startlingly little evidence for the widely documented religious-secular divide in Israel.religion, trust, altruism, religious context, religious-secular conflict

    Cooperation and the In-Group-Out-Group Bias: A Field Test on Israeli Kibbutz Members and City Residents

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    The in-group-out-group bias is among the most well documented and widely observed phenomenon in the social sciences. Despite its role in hiring decisions and job discrimination, negotiations, and conflict and competition between groups, economists have heretofore ignored the in- group-out-group bias. We question the universality of the bias by designing field experiments to test whether it extends to the cooperative behavior of one of the most successful and best-known modern collective societies, the Israeli kibbutz. The facts that kibbutz members have voluntarily chosen their lifestyle of cooperation and egalitarianism, the ease with which they could join the surrounding capitalist society, their disproportionate involvement in social and national causes and their revealed willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of Israeli society as a whole suggest that if ever there was a society of individuals whose cooperativeness extends equally to members and non-members, the kibbutz is it. Nonetheless, the findings from our field experiments indicate that kibbutz members display higher levels of cooperation when paired with anonymous kibbutz members than when paired with city residents. In fact, when paired with city residents, kibbutz members’ observed levels of cooperation are identical to those displayed by the city residents. Moreover, we present evidence that kibbutz socialization actually damages the willingness of members to cooperate with one another.cooperation, in-group-out-group bias, field experiment, self- selection, socialization, kibbutz

    When Do Large Buyers Pay Less? Experimental Evidence

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    The rise in mega-retailers has contributed to a growing literature on buyer power and large-buyer discounts. According to Rotemberg and Saloner (1986) and Snyder (1998), large buyers' ability to obtain price discounts depends on their relative (rather than absolute) size and the degree of competition between suppliers. I test experimentally comparative statics implications of this theory concerning the number of sellers and the sizes of the buyers in the market. The results track the comparative statics predictions to a surprising extent. Subtle changes in the distribution of buyer sizes or the number of suppliers can create or negate large-buyer discounts. The results highlight the previously unexplored role of the demand structure in determining buyer-size discounts. Furthermore, the experiments establish the presence of small-buyer premia, not anticipated by the theory

    On the origin and evolution of the material in 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

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    International audiencePrimitive objects like comets hold important information on the material that formed our solar system. Several comets have been visited by spacecraft and many more have been observed through Earth- and space-based telescopes. Still our understanding remains limited. Molecular abundances in comets have been shown to be similar to interstellar ices and thus indicate that common processes and conditions were involved in their formation. The samples returned by the Stardust mission to comet Wild 2 showed that the bulk refractory material was processed by high temperatures in the vicinity of the early sun. The recent Rosetta mission acquired a wealth of new data on the composition of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (hereafter 67P/C-G) and complemented earlier observations of other comets. The isotopic, elemental, and molecular abundances of the volatile, semi-volatile, and refractory phases brought many new insights into the origin and processing of the incorporated material. The emerging picture after Rosetta is that at least part of the volatile material was formed before the solar system and that cometary nuclei agglomerated over a wide range of heliocentric distances, different from where they are found today. Deviations from bulk solar system abundances indicate that the material was not fully homogenized at the location of comet formation, despite the radial mixing implied by the Stardust results. Post-formation evolution of the material might play an important role, which further complicates the picture. This paper discusses these major findings of the Rosetta mission with respect to the origin of the material and puts them in the context of what we know from other comets and solar system objects
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