Individual Motivation, its Nature, Determinants and Consequences for Within Group Behavior
The paper deals with evaluating the adequacy of the assumption that in economic transactions people are self-interested insofar as they are motivated solely by the concern of maximizing their own utility, and in particular with assessing how this assumption affects within-group behavior. Policy and incentive structures based on the assumption of exogenous and self-interested motivation can undermine other sources of motivation and have negative effects both on cooperative behavior and also on economic efficiency. The paper sketches the motivational assumption of homo œconomicus: in the classical formulation, in rational choice theory and in Becker’s later work which introduces personal and social capital into the individual utility function. It then challenges the position that homo œconomicus contains an adequate characterization of human motivation for cooperative within-group behavior. It introduces alternative motivational behaviors: philia and altruism, identity and self-expression, moral rules, intrinsic motivation and social norms. It argues that motivations are complex and multiple; a single assumption of utility maximization is insufficient for policy purposes. As the individual is always a social being, how she behaves will be dependent on the social context in which she is acting. If motivations are endogenous, and if under certain conditions maximizing motivation displaces other sources of motivation, then these indirect effects, and their long term consequences for efficiency and equity, should be taken into account in framing economic policies.
|Date of creation:||01 Jun 1998|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Place Montesquieu 3, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)|
Fax: +32 10473945
Web page: http://www.uclouvain.be/ires
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000.
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-938, October.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, "undated". "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 246, CESifo Group Munich.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1989. "Markets, Market Failures, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 197-203, May.
- Sah, Raaj Kumar & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1985.
"The social cost of labor and project evaluation: A general approach,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 135-163, November.
- Joseph E. Stiglitz & Raaj Kumar Sah, 1983. "The Social Cost of Labor, and Project Evaluation: A General Approach," NBER Working Papers 1229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jörgen W. Weibull, 1999.
"Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35.
- Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-755, September.
- Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Internal Consistency of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 495-521, May.
- Bardhan, Pranab, 1989. "The new institutional economics and development theory: A brief critical assessment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(9), pages 1389-1395, September.
- repec:sae:ilrrev:v:52:y:1999:i:3:p:361-392 is not listed on IDEAS
- Sen, A., 1996.
"Maximisation and the Act of Choice,"
270, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
- Amartya Sen, 1996. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1766, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Sen, Amartya, 1985. "Goals, Commitment, and Identity," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 341-355, Fall.
- Sen, Amartya, 1997. "Economics, Business Principles and Moral Sentiments," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 5-15, July.
- Sen, Amartya K, 1973. "Behaviour and the Concept of Preference," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(159), pages 241-259, August.
- Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "The Invisible Hand and Modern Welfare Economics," NBER Working Papers 3641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:1999033. 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: (Anne DAVISTER-LOGIST)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.