Measuring the Effects of Economic Austerity on Pro-Sociality: Evidence from Greece

69 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2018 Last revised: 27 Oct 2018

See all articles by Nicholas Sambanis

Nicholas Sambanis

Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Anna Schultz

Duke University

Elena Nikolova

Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI); University College London - School of Slavonic and East European Studies; IOS Regensburg

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 23, 2018

Abstract

The European debt crisis gave rise to policies of fiscal austerity designed to instill discipline and return economies to growth after a short-lived period of structural adjustment. Greece received several bailouts conditional on implementing severe spending cuts and structural reforms. These policies — many of them poorly implemented — led to a prolonged period of recession. While the economic effects of austerity policies and the political causes of the crisis have been studied extensively, less is known about their social impact. We explore the effects of the crisis on pro-sociality using new household-level data and experimental evidence from Greece. We focus on the effects of joblessness, the most severe outcome of the economic downturn. We find a strong relationship between job loss and decreased generalized solidarity. We find evidence of in-group bias and the bias becomes more pronounced due to exposure to austerity policies. However, this bias is not mediated by beliefs that foreigners are to blame for the economic crisis.

Keywords: Austerity, Economic Crises, Greece, Experiment, Survey, Pro-Sociality

JEL Classification: H12, I31, Z18

Suggested Citation

Sambanis, Nicholas and Schultz, Anna and Nikolova, Elena, Measuring the Effects of Economic Austerity on Pro-Sociality: Evidence from Greece (October 23, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3239925 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3239925

Nicholas Sambanis

Department of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Anna Schultz

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Elena Nikolova (Contact Author)

Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI) ( email )

Zvolenská 29
Bratislava, 82109
Slovakia

University College London - School of Slavonic and East European Studies ( email )

Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

IOS Regensburg ( email )

Landshuter Str. 4
Regensburg, 93047
Germany

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