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Moderation, contentment, work, and alms—A Buddhist household theory


  • Wiese, Harald


The paper deals with household theory from the angle of Buddhist thought. We build on the Buddhist terms of tanha versus chanda to express Buddhist preferences and Buddhist household theory in terms of textbook microeconomic terms. We find that preferences of Buddhist (enlightened) people may differ from those of non-Buddhist people in a systematic manner. Among other hypotheses, we deduce that Buddhists work harder than non-Buddhists if we control for meditation time. We argue that any full-grown Buddhist economics (if it is to exist) needs to build on Buddhist preference and household theory, either as presented here or in a different form.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiese, Harald, 2011. "Moderation, contentment, work, and alms—A Buddhist household theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 909-918.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:6:p:909-918
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.08.016

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lerner, Abba P, 1972. "The Economics and Politics of Consumer Sovereignty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(2), pages 258-266, May.
    2. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    3. Daniels, Peter L., 2005. "Economic systems and the Buddhist world view: the 21st century nexus," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 245-268, March.
    4. Frey, Bruno S., 1997. "On the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic work motivation1," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 427-439, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xingqiang Du & Yingjie Du & Quan Zeng & Hongmei Pei & Yingying Chang, 2016. "Religious atmosphere, law enforcement, and corporate social responsibility: Evidence from China," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 229-265, March.
    2. repec:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10902-017-9853-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Xingqiang Du, 2014. "Does Religion Mitigate Tunneling? Evidence from Chinese Buddhism," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 125(2), pages 299-327, December.
    4. Xingqiang Du & Wei Jian & Shaojuan Lai & Yingjie Du & Hongmei Pei, 2015. "Does Religion Mitigate Earnings Management? Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 699-749, October.

    More about this item


    Buddhism; Tanha; Chanda; Moderation; Happiness research;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion


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