Economics of maritime disasters : essays on the Titanic and Lusitania

Savage, David A. (2009) Economics of maritime disasters : essays on the Titanic and Lusitania. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This work seeks to fill some of the gap existing in the economics and behavioural economics literature pertaining to the decision making process of individuals under extreme environmental situations (life and death events). These essays specifically examine the sinking’s of the R.M.S. Titanic, on 14th April of 1912, and the R.M.S. Lusitania, on 7th May 1915, using econometric (multivariate) analysis techniques. The results show that even under extreme life and death conditions, social norms matter and are reflected in the survival probabilities of individuals onboard the Titanic. However, results from the comparative analysis of the Titanic and Lusitania show that social norms take time to organise and be effective. In the presence of such time constraints, the traditional “homo economicus” model of individual behaviour becomes evident as a survival of the fittest competition.

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ID Code: 35730
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Torgler, Benno
Keywords: altruism and self-interest, decision under pressure, excess demand, disasters, life and death, Lusitania, quasi-natural experiment, social norms, survival of the fittest, Titanic, tragic events, women and children first
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 20 Sep 2010 22:19
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2011 13:52

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