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CBE Faculty Publish Study in Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics

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The American University of Armenia (AUA) Manoogian Simone College of Business and Economics (CBE) Master of Science in Management (MSM) Program Chair Dr. Vardan Baghdasaryan, CBE Associate Professor Dr. Aleksandr Grigoryan, and Dr. Armenak Antinyan from Cardiff University published a joint study on “Charitable Giving, Social Capital, and Positional Concerns’’ in the South Caucasus Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (JBEE).

“In this study, we explore behavioral factors behind charity donation and social capital (horizontal and vertical trust) in the South Caucasus. Our focus is on the causal relationship between relative deprivation and those two dimensions. The research findings show that an individual’s perceived positional disadvantage can have detrimental consequences for his or her charitable behavior. Discussing the relationship between relative deprivation and social capital, we illustrate that, on the one hand, relative disadvantage has a social capital-destroying effect and, on the other, relative advantage has a social capital enhancing effect. Our results deliver a convincing argument for governments of the countries considered to undertake measures towards equalizing income distribution,” explains Dr. Grigoryan

Dr. Baghdasaryan added, “Our main goal was to determine how much an individual’s perception of his or her place or rank among peers influences his or her willingness to help others or trust others. If one feels relatively deprived compared to his immediate neighborhood, in spite of being actually well-off, will this reduce his or her likelihood of making donations or trusting the government? We answer these questions using data from the “Caucasus Barometer” survey administered in three post-Soviet transition economies — Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Our research shows that the relative deprivation of a household can have negative impacts on its members’ charitable giving and social capital.”

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.