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The Economics of Non-selfish Behaviour

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The Economics of Non-selfish Behaviour

Decisions to Contribute Money to Public Goods

9781845424411 Edward Elgar Publishing
Stephan Meier, Economist, Research Center for Behavioral Economics and Decision-Making, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Fellow, Harvard University, US
Publication Date: 2006 ISBN: 978 1 84542 441 1 Extent: 176 pp
In standard economic theory human beings are portrayed as selfish money-maximizing actors. This book investigates the conditions under which people deviate from this prediction and when they are prepared to contribute to the common good in a more altruistic fashion.

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Contents
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In standard economic theory human beings are portrayed as selfish money-maximizing actors. This book investigates the conditions under which people deviate from this prediction and when they are prepared to contribute to the common good in a more altruistic fashion.

Based on field experiments from charitable giving, Stephan Meier analyses people’s decisions to contribute to public goods. He argues that people are more likely to contribute if their giving is matched by more money – people are generous if their peers also show this trait. He investigates the conditions under which people are willing to voluntarily contribute and draws conclusions on how the empirical findings influence economic theory and policy.

Academic economists interested in behavioural economics or public economics will find The Economics of Non-selfish Behaviour of great interest as will the general public interested in developments in economics.
Critical Acclaim
‘The author explores the issues of self-interest versus pro-social behavior through and examination of the willingness of individuals to donate to public goods. . . Meier’s book is a succinct statement with empirical examination of the hypothesis about non-selfish motives. If you are feeling altruistic, I recommend that you buy a copy of this book to share with your economist friends and colleagues – a dose of the real world never hurts.’
– Ronnie J. Phillips, Journal of Economic Issues
Contents
Contents: Preface by Bruno S. Frey 1. Introduction Part I: Theoretical Considerations 2. A Survey of Economic Theories on Pro-social Behavior Part II: Empirical Analysis 3. Pro-social Behaviour in a Natural Laboratory 4. Social Comparisons and Pro-social Behaviour: A Field Experiment 5. Matching Donations: Subsidizing Pro-social Behaviour 6. Economic Education and Pro-social Behaviour: Selection or Indoctrination? 7. Concluding Remarks References Index
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