Analyse & Kritik
Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory
Ed. by Baurmann, Michael / Leist, Anton / Tranow, Ulf
Citizenship Status, Warm Glow, and Prosocial Behavior: A Quasi-Experiment on Giving Behavior by Host-Country Citizens and Asylum Seekers
This paper is concerned with the question of whether and how social class and status affect prosocial behavior among status groups.We conducted dictator games in which both host-country citizens (high social status) as well as asylum seekers (low social status) make monetary donations towards their respective in- and out-groups. As a novelty, we varied the number of recipients in the dictator game (i.e. one, two or three recipients). Our results indicate that host-country citizens donate significantly more than asylum seekers and that asylum seekers receive significantly higher donations than host-country citizens. Donations vary only marginally with the number of recipients. These findings and answers to a follow-up questionnaire show that prosocial behavior among status groups, and in particular prosocial behavior from high-status towards low-status actors, might be instances of impure altruism, i.e., motivated by a warm glow of giving or a purchase of moral satisfaction.