IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ctl/louvir/1999033.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Individual Motivation, its Nature, Determinants and Consequences for Within Group Behavior

Author

Listed:
  • Alkire, Sabina

    (World Bank, Poverty Group)

  • Deneulin, Séverine

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES); Oxford University, International Development Centre)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alkire, Sabina & Deneulin, Séverine, 1998. "Individual Motivation, its Nature, Determinants and Consequences for Within Group Behavior," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1999033, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:1999033
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://sites.uclouvain.be/econ/DP/IRES/9933.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Amartya Sen, 1997. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 745-780, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Sen, Amartya, 1985. "Goals, Commitment, and Identity," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 341-355, Fall.
    5. 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.
    6. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-938, October.
    7. Bardhan, Pranab, 1989. "The new institutional economics and development theory: A brief critical assessment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(9), pages 1389-1395, September.
    8. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1989. "Markets, Market Failures, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 197-203, May.
    9. 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.
    10. Sen, Amartya, 1993. "Internal Consistency of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(3), pages 495-521, May.
    11. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "The Invisible Hand and Modern Welfare Economics," NBER Working Papers 3641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "Economics, Business Principles and Moral Sentiments," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 5-15, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Pillai N., Vijayamohanan, 2008. "Infrastructure, Growth And Human Development In Kerala," MPRA Paper 7017, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Motivation; Rational Choice; Self-Interest; Cooperation;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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: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: (Virginie LEBLANC). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/iruclbe.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 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.