Social Trust Fosters an Ability to Help Those in Need: Jewish Refugees in the Nazi Era



An ignored aspect of efforts to save Jewish citizens in occupied Europe during the Second World War is that large-scale rescue arguably constitutes a collective action problem. Due to Nazi occupation, no formal institutions contributed to solving this problem. Exploring the differences in rescue rates across all 30 occupied countries shows that the informal institution of social trust contributed to solving the collective action problem and strongly affected rescue rates.