The Times They are a Changin’: The Effect of Institutions on Behavior, Cooperation, Emotional Attachment and Sentiment at 26,000 Ft

42 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2013

See all articles by David A. Savage

David A. Savage

Queensland University of Technology; QuBE; CEDM

Benno Torgler

Queensland University of Technology; CREMA; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Date Written: May 29, 2013

Abstract

This paper attempts to determine if the introduction of a competing social institution has had a significant effect and shifted the pro-social behavior in the extreme (life-and-death) environment of mountaineering in the Himalayan Mountains over the last sixty years. We apply an analytic narratives approach to empirically investigate the link between death, success and the introduced social institution (commercialization). We use the Hawley and Salisbury (2007) Himalayan Database to determine if the introduction of this social institution is responsible for the decline in pro-social and altruistic behaviors. The results show that the change helping behavior is strongly correlated with the on mass introduction of commercialization. The results show a weakening of the prosocial behavior in the more “traditional climbers” in the modern period, created by a crowding out effect, which may have lead to the break down in prosocial behavior and the rise of anti-social behavior. Additionally, the results indicate that the prosocial behavior of the non-commercial groups in recent times may in fact be driven by the behavior of the Sherpa and not that of the climbers.

Keywords: Decision under Pressure, Altruism, Tragic Events and Disasters, Survival, Natural Field Experiment, Mountaineering

JEL Classification: D63, D64, D71, D81

Suggested Citation

Savage, David A. and Torgler, Benno, The Times They are a Changin’: The Effect of Institutions on Behavior, Cooperation, Emotional Attachment and Sentiment at 26,000 Ft (May 29, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2274593 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2274593

David A. Savage (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

QuBE ( email )

2 George Street
GPO Box 2434
Brisbane, 4510
Australia

CEDM ( email )

Brisbane, 4001
Australia

Benno Torgler

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

CREMA

Gellertstrasse 18
Basel
Zurich, CH 8006
Switzerland

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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