Locus of Control and Prosocial Behavior

72 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2022 Last revised: 18 Aug 2022

See all articles by Mark Andor

Mark Andor

RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

James C. Cox

Georgia State University

Andreas Gerster

University of Mannheim

Michael K. Price

University of Alabama - Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies

Stephan Sommer

RWI - Leibniz-Institute for Economic Research

Lukas Tomberg

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2022

Abstract

We investigate how locus of control beliefs – the extent to which individuals attribute control over events in their life to themselves as opposed to outside factors – affect prosocial behavior and the private provision of public goods. We begin by developing a conceptual framework showing how locus of control beliefs serve as a weight placed on the returns from one’s own contributions (impure altruism) and others contributions (pure altruism). Using multiple data sets from Germany and the U.S., we show that individuals who relate consequences to their own behavior are more likely to contribute to climate change mitigation, to donate money and in-kind gifts to charitable causes, to share money with others, to cast a vote in parliamentary elections, and to donate blood. Our results provide comprehensive evidence that locus of control beliefs affect prosocial behavior.

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Suggested Citation

Andor, Mark and Cox, James C. and Gerster, Andreas and Price, Michael K. and Sommer, Stephan and Tomberg, Lukas, Locus of Control and Prosocial Behavior (August 2022). NBER Working Paper No. w30359, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4192186 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4192186

Mark Andor (Contact Author)

RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://en.rwi-essen.de/mark-andor

James C. Cox

Georgia State University

Andreas Gerster

University of Mannheim ( email )

L7, 3-5
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Michael K. Price

University of Alabama - Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 870244
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Stephan Sommer

RWI - Leibniz-Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

Lukas Tomberg

RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen
Germany

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