The Foundations of Human Pro-Social Behaviour: Some Economic Aspects


Pro-social behaviour has an economic foundation. Income rate, social discount rates, incentives and welfare motives force agents to act pro-socially. Pro-social behaviour is realized through the institution of social responsibility, which includes non-market coordination mechanism, altruism, social capital and trust. The nature of the institute of social responsibility and its components are described in the first part of the paper. The second part describes the conditions that promote pro-social behaviour and reflect the main features of the institute of social responsibility. In the third part we tested the hypothesis of the second part on the basis of a comparative analysis of pro-social behaviour in Russia and OECD countries. In the fourth part we summed up the conclusions of the study. The study found a direct connection between the pro-social behaviour, the level of trust, volunteer and charitable activities. For empirical testing of theoretical hypotheses we use sociological surveys data of WVS (2010-2014), ESS (2012). In this paper we evaluated the pro-social behaviour in Russia in comparison with OECD countries. We used the following indicators: positive expectations for the future, trust, participation in volunteer activities and charity. We found that pro-social activity is poorly implemented in Russia. The low level of per capita income, low level of interpersonal trust, weak development of volunteer and charitable activities and pessimistic expectations of the future - these are the key factors that reduce pro-social activity in Russia.

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20 February 2016

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Social welfare, social services, personal health, public health

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Frolova, E. A., & Malanina, V. A. (2016). The Foundations of Human Pro-Social Behaviour: Some Economic Aspects. In F. Casati (Ed.), Lifelong Wellbeing in the World - WELLSO 2015, vol 7. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 424-431). Future Academy.