Study: More ‘global’ people care less about public good

Travel background concept
Travel background concept

The more individuals perceive themselves as “citizens of the world”, the less they would contribute to public goods, says a new study.

High level of globalisation increases the likelihood that the individual would not provide a truthful report on income, would catch a “free ride” on others’ contributions, and would donate less to a charity, the findings showed.

“Since we found a clear correlation between the individual’s globalization level and their contribution to public goods, above and beyond the state’s influence, our conclusion is that there is a correlation between this personality characteristic and values such as social solidarity and social cohesion,” said researcher Eitan Adres from University of Haifa in Israel.

These findings from Adres’ doctorate thesis won him the outstanding study award from the Israel Political Science Association, a statement from University of Haifa said.

Adres sought to examine the connection between globalisation and participation in contribution to public goods.

To this end, he developed a unique index determining the individual’s globalisation level, whose impact is not dependent on the level of globalisation of the state.

Four countries were chosen to examine this relationship: Germany and Australia, which both have a high level of globalization; Columbia, which has a low level of globalization; and in the middle Israel, which has an intermediate level of globalization.

Approximately one thousand participants in the four countries participated in three economic decision games testing their willingness to contribute to a public good.

The findings showed that the more people consider themselves to adhere to the values of globalisation, consumerism, and individualism, and the more they regard themselves as “citizens of the world”, the less likely they are to contribute to public goods and the more likely they are to seek to be “free riders” on the contributions of others.

As expected, a similar correlation was found between the level of globalization of the country and the participants’ contributions.

The greater the country’s globalisation level, the higher the average probability that its citizens would not contribute anything to the communal pot in the first experiment, the study said.

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