A Survey of Economic Theories and Field Evidence on Pro-Social Behavior

41 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2006

See all articles by Stephan Meier

Stephan Meier

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Columbia Business School - Management

Date Written: January 2006


In recent years, a large number of economic theories have evolved to explain people's pro-social behavior and the variation in their respective behavior. This paper surveys economic theories on pro-social behavior and presents evidence - mainly from the field - testing these theories. In addition, the survey emphasizes that institutional environment might significantly interact with pro-social preferences and explain some of the variation in observed pro-social behavior.

JEL Classification: D64, C93, H41, D01

Suggested Citation

Meier, Stephan, A Survey of Economic Theories and Field Evidence on Pro-Social Behavior (January 2006). FRB of Boston Working Paper No. 06-6, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=917187 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.917187

Stephan Meier (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
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Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

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