Risk-Taking, Trust, and Traumatization Among Syrian Refugees in Jordan – A Lab-in-The-Field Experiment

30 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2017

See all articles by Nora El-Bialy

Nora El-Bialy

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law and Economics

Andreas Nicklisch

University of Hamburg - School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Stefan Voigt

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: October 17, 2017

Abstract

An unprecedented number of refugees from Syria has sought refuge in both the Middle East as well as in Europe since the beginning of the civil war in Syria in 2011. Refugees do not only bring patterns of behavior they have acquired over their childhood and adolescence with them but also the – possibly traumatic – civil war experience. In this paper, we inquire whether traumatization affects behavior. We report the results of experiments run in Jordan in March and May 2017 among both Syrian refugees and Jordanians. More specifically, we report results regarding risk preferences, trust, and altruism. It turns out that the choices made by Syrian students are often statistically indistinguishable from the choices made by Jordanian students whereas there are significant differences in behavior between Syrian non-students and both of our student samples. The degree of traumatization has some effects on behavior in these games. It is driven by having experienced the loss of close relatives in Syria and by having spent some time in refugee camps in Jordan.

Keywords: Risk preferences, trust, trustworthiness, altruism, experiments, refugees, traumatic experience, post-traumatic stress disorder

JEL Classification: C93, D02, D74, D91, O17, Z13

Suggested Citation

El-Bialy, Nora and Nicklisch, Andreas and Voigt, Stefan, Risk-Taking, Trust, and Traumatization Among Syrian Refugees in Jordan – A Lab-in-The-Field Experiment (October 17, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3054467 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3054467

Nora El-Bialy

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law and Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany

Andreas Nicklisch

University of Hamburg - School of Business, Economics and Social Sciences ( email )

Von-Melle-Park 5
Hamburg, D-20354
Germany

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
49 228 9141679 (Phone)
49 228 9141655 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coll.mpg.de/nicklisch.html

Stefan Voigt (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg - Institute of Law & Economics ( email )

Johnsallee 35
Hamburg, 20148
Germany
+49-40-428385782 (Phone)
+49-40-428386794 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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