Calamities, Common Interests, Shared Identity: What Shapes Social Cohesion in Europe?

37 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2021 Last revised: 4 Feb 2022

See all articles by Cevat Giray Aksoy

Cevat Giray Aksoy

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; King’s College London; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Antonio Cabrales

University College London - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Mathias Dolls

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ruben Durante

Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA); Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Department of Economics and Business, Students

Lisa Windsteiger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 5 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2021

Abstract

We conduct a large-scale incentivized survey experiment in nine EU countries to study how priming common economic interests (EU trade), a shared identity (EU common values), and a major health crisis (COVID-19), influences altruism, reciprocity and trust of EU citizens. We find that the COVID-19 treatment increases altruism and reciprocity towards compatriots, as well as altruism towards citizens of other EU countries. The EU common values treatment has similar effects and in addition also boosts reciprocity towards fellow Europeans. The EU trade treatment has no tangible impact on behavior. Trust in others is not affected by any treatment. Our results suggest that both a shared identity and a shared crisis can have a unifying effect among EU citizens, while shared economic interests (alone) do not significantly affect European cohesion.

Keywords: altruism, COVID-19, Europe, Reciprocity, Survey Experiment

JEL Classification: D72, H51, H53, H55, O52, P52

Suggested Citation

Aksoy, Cevat Giray and Cabrales, Antonio and Dolls, Mathias and Durante, Ruben and Windsteiger, Lisa, Calamities, Common Interests, Shared Identity: What Shapes Social Cohesion in Europe? (May 2021). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP16186, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3886626

Cevat Giray Aksoy (Contact Author)

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ( email )

One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
United Kingdom

King’s College London ( email )

Aldwych
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Antonio Cabrales

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Drayton House, 30 Gordon Street
30 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AX
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Mathias Dolls

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo-group.de/ifoHome/CESifo-Group/ifo/ifo-Mitarbeiter/cvifo-dolls_m.html

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ruben Durante

Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) ( email )

P/ Lluis Companys 23
Barcelona, 08010
Spain

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Department of Economics and Business, Students ( email )

Barcelona
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.rubendurante.net

Lisa Windsteiger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

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