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  • Davis, John

    () (Department of Economics Marquette University)


This chapter introduces the economics and identity literature, and discusses the relationship between social identity and personal identity. It distinguishes categorical and relational types of social identities, and argues that the former are more readily associated with instrumentally rational behavior, while the latter, which involve close contact with others in roles and social positions, are more readily associated with behavior in which individuals unilaterally reciprocate the actions of others - what Bruni terms unilateral altruism, which involves a non-instrumental or deontological type of motivation. The chapter also distinguishes two views of personal identity as relational in nature, Bachrach's game-theoretic approach and one based on collective intentionality theory, and concludes by arguing that the Homo economicus view of personal identity is circular.

Suggested Citation

  • Davis, John, 2011. "Identity," Working Papers and Research 2011-08, Marquette University, Center for Global and Economic Studies and Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrq:wpaper:2011-08

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    Other versions of this item:

    • John B. Davis, 2009. "Identity," Chapters,in: Handbook of Economics and Ethics, chapter 33 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    • John B. Davis, 2013. "Identity," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Reciprocity and Social Enterprise, chapter 19, pages 201-207 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Strong Reciprocity and Human Sociality," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2000-02, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Kirman, 2014. "Is it rational to have rational expectations?," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 13(1), pages 29-48, June.
    2. Kim, You-Jin & Van Dyne, Linn & Kamdar, Dishan & Johnson, Russell E., 2013. "Why and when do motives matter? An integrative model of motives, role cognitions, and social support as predictors of OCB," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 231-245.
    3. Dorian Jullien, 2013. "Asian Disease-type of Framing of Outcomes as an Historical Curiosity," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-47, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    4. Daniel K. Finn, 2014. "Philosophy, Not Theology, Is the Key for Economics: A Catholic Perspective," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 11(2), pages 153-159, May.
    5. Dorian Jullien & Nicolas Vallois, 2012. "A Probabilistic Ghost in the Experimental Machine," GREDEG Working Papers 2012-05, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    6. Thomas Risse, 2013. "Solidarität unter Fremden? Europäische Identität im Härtetest," KFG Working Papers p0050, Free University Berlin.
    7. Gianni Vaggi & Sara Stefanini, 2014. "On open identity; otherness, distance and self-command; Smith and the view of justice," DEM Working Papers Series 073, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Management.


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