Surviving the Titanic Disaster: Economic, Natural and Social Determinants
32 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2009
Date Written: February 2009
The sinking of the Titanic in April 1912 took the lives of 68 percent of the people aboard. Who survived? It was women and children who had a higher probability of being saved, not men. Likewise, people traveling in first class had a better chance of survival than those in second and third class. British passengers were more likely to perish than members of other nations.
This extreme event represents a rare case of a well-documented life and death situation where social norms were enforced. This paper shows that economic analysis can account for human behavior in such situations.
Keywords: decision under pressure, tragic events and disasters, survival, quasi-natural experiment, altruism
JEL Classification: D63, D64, D71, D81
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation