Global Priorities Seminar (Week 7, TT18)
Standard economics generally assumes self-interest to be the main motivator of economic activity. However, a growing body of economic literature has enriched the standard model of private utility maximization with preferences such as altruism, pro-sociality and fairness. This work has generally modelled such preferences as exogenous and static. Alternatively, we can think of altruism as an asset—altruistic capital—that evolves over time within individuals from their social context. We explore how altruistic capital may be leveraged and accumulated, and how to build incentives, institutions and organisations to shape pro-social behaviour over a given lifetime.