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

By Stephan Meier

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.