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The Values and Norms of Refugees – Results from a Field Experiment in Germany

  • Stefan Voigt (University of Hamburg)
Thursday 19 January 2017
Wijnhaven, room 348

About the lecture

An unprecedented number of refugees from the MENA region has sought refuge in Europe over the last couple of years. They do not only bring with them the – possibly traumatic – flight experience, but also values and norms they have acquired over their childhood and adolescence. Do these values and norms differ significantly from those shared in the recipient countries? To what degree have they been influenced by any traumatic experience? What about possible economic consequences? To shed light on these questions, we have run a number of experiments inquiring into altruism, risk preferences, reciprocity, propensity to cooperate, trust and honesty among refugees seeking refuge in Germany. It turns out that refugees are generally more risk seeking than our comparison group (students at the University of Hamburg) but being traumatized is associated with more risk aversion. In a public good game with the possibility to punish, they punish more frequently than the control group. Interestingly, defectors tend to punish defection frequently.

About the speaker

Stefan Voigt is director at the Institute of Law & Economics at Hamburg University. He is a fellow with CESifo (Munich) and has been affiliated with the International Centre for Economic Research (ICER) in Torino, Italy. Previous positions include chairs at the Universities of Marburg, Kassel, Ruhr-University Bochum, a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, and a research fellow position with the Max-Planck-Institute for Research Into Economic Systems. His research focuses on the economic effects of constitutions. More specifically, current research focuses on the economic effects of the judiciary. Voigt is one of the editors of Constitutional Political Economy and a member of various boards including those of Public Choice and the International Review of Law & Economics. Voigt has consulting experience with both the public and the private sector. He has worked with the World Bank, the European Commission and the OECD but also with the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT). The German newspaper Handelsblatt ranks Voigt among the Top-100 German speaking economists according to quality-weighted research output.

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About the seminars:

Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar Series

Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar Series is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. dr. M.O. Hosli (coordinator)

Dr. J.J. Kantorowicz

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