Citizenship Status, Warm Glow, and Prosocial Behavior: A Quasi-Experiment on Giving Behavior by Host-Country Citizens and Asylum Seekers

Ulf Liebe 1  and Andreas Tutić 2
  • 1 Department of Sociology, The University of Warwick, , Warwick, United Kingdom
  • 2 Institute of Sociology, University of , Leipzig, Germany

Abstract

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.

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