IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/cup/ecnphi/v26y2010i02p189-216_00.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Moral Basis Of Prosperity And Oppression: Altruism, Other-Regarding Behaviour And Identity

Author

Listed:
  • Basu, Kaushik

Abstract

Much of economics is built on the assumption that individuals are driven by self-interest and economic development is an outcome of the free play of such individuals. On the few occasions that the existence of altruism is recognized in economics, the tendency is to build this from the axiom of individual selfishness. The aim of this paper is to break from this tradition and to treat as a primitive that individuals are endowed with the ‘cooperative spirit’, which allows them to work in their collective interest, even when that may not be in their self-interest. The paper tracks the interface between altruism and group identity. By using the basic structure of a Prisoner's Dilemma game among randomly picked individuals and building into it assumptions of general or in-group altruism, the paper demonstrates how our selfish rationality interacts with our innate sense of cooperation. The model is used to outline circumstances under which cooperation will occur and circumstances where it will break down. The paper also studies how sub-groups of a society can form cooperative blocks, whether to simply do better for themselves or exploit others.

Suggested Citation

  • Basu, Kaushik, 2010. "The Moral Basis Of Prosperity And Oppression: Altruism, Other-Regarding Behaviour And Identity," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(02), pages 189-216, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:26:y:2010:i:02:p:189-216_00
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0266267110000192
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cadsby, C. Bram & Servátka, Maroš & Song, Fei, 2013. "How competitive are female professionals? A tale of identity conflict," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 284-303.
    2. repec:gam:jscscx:v:7:y:2018:i:3:p:40-:d:135412 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Sebastian Silva-Leander, 2011. "On the Possibility of Measuring Freedom: A Kantian Perspective," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp049, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    4. Monga Célestin, 2017. "Working Paper 261 - Post-Macroeconomics: Some Theoretical and Analytical Issues," Working Paper Series 2372, African Development Bank.
    5. Müller, Ulrike, 2012. "Pro-poor Service Delivery and Social Identity," WIDER Working Paper Series 055, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:26:y:2010:i:02:p:189-216_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: https://journals.cambridge.org/jid_EAP .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.