HCBE Faculty Articles

Title

Showing Up after the Storm: Our "Fickle" Bleeding Heart?

Document Type

Article

Date

2019

Publication Title

Studies in Business and Economics

ISSN or ISBN

1842-4120

Volume

13

Issue

3

First Page

118

Last Page

134

Description

While usually lauded, "empathic giving" may actually lead to suboptimal outcomes due in part to the enhancement of tribal sentiments in individual interactions, as well as by decisions driven more by emotional, rather than rational, considerations in the giving process. This point is linked to recent suggestions that government should reform social safety nets in order to decrease these negative interactions, and increase their efficacy. To this end, we use analyses of the September Supplements to the Current Population Survey in order to explore and find a negative change in individual-level volunteering subsequent to hurricanes Katrina and Ike, but not after hurricane Charley. We also find variations by region, and in particular, in "Deep Blue" states, as well as by whether individuals were located in the hurricane-affected states. Our findings are consistent with the notion that empathy may lead to more problems, including burnout and stratified giving, with implications for a public or private call to action.

DOI

10.2478/sbe-2018-0039

Peer Reviewed

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