Beyond Altruism? Economics and the Minimization of Unselfish Behavior, 1975-93
AbstractThis article provides a historical account of the developments of research into seemingly unselfish behavior between 1975 and 1993. I shall first argue that the triumph of the self-interest model in the examination of seemingly unselfish behavior can better be understood if it is remembered that the attempts by a handful of economists to expand their jurisdiction over phenomena that had remained outside their reach occurred at a time when natural scientists showed similar ambitions. As those economists' efforts found a more receptive audience within the profession, disputes shifted, within the discipline itself, to the public policy implications of seemingly unselfish behavior. Then I shall argue that the various efforts to go beyond the self-interest model in economics and political science failed to build a coherent alternative model and produced equally ambiguous policy implications. My conclusion stresses the difficulty of escaping the customary presupposition that seemingly unselfish behavior concerns close-knit groups whereas selfishness applies to impersonal gatherings.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Duke University Press in its journal History of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 44 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Duke University Press 905 W. Main Street, Suite 18B Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?viewby=journal&productid=45614
altruism; Gary Becker; Jack Hirshleifer; Edmund Phelps;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Cedrini, Mario & Marchionatti, Roberto, 2013.
"On the Theoretical and Practical Relevance of the Concept of Gift to the Development of a Non-Imperialistic Economics,"
CESMEP Working Papers
201303, University of Turin.
- Cedrini, Mario Aldo & Marchionatti, Roberto, 2013. "On the Theoretical and Practical Relevance of the Concept of Gift to the Development of a Non-Imperialist Economics," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201348, University of Turin.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Center for the History of Political Economy Webmaster).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.