Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1950345
 
 

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A Neuroeconomic Perspective on Charitable Giving


David V. Yokum


University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law; University of Arizona - College of Science

Filippo Rossi


University of Arizona - College of Science

July 10, 2009


Abstract:     
Psychologists and economists, particularly those assuming that people are rational egoists, have struggled to understand the causes of voluntary donation for decades. Why would a person decide to sacrifice part of his or her material payoff in order to increase the well being of others? In the first part of this paper, we outline a core set of possible motivations, and then consider how those motivations can be used to construct behavioral models that can also be tested in terms of what we know about brain function. We emphasize the role of other‐regarding preferences and argue that there are moral judgments, independent of any consideration of payoffs, that partially determine when and to whom such preferences exist. In the second part of the paper, we argue that a neuroeconomic perspective can help understand charitable giving, and then discuss recent neuroimaging studies that demonstrate this potential.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: Moral psychology, Neuroeconomics, Charitable giving

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Date posted: October 29, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Yokum, David V. and Rossi, Filippo, A Neuroeconomic Perspective on Charitable Giving (July 10, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1950345 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1950345

Contact Information

David V. Yokum (Contact Author)
University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )
P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States
University of Arizona - College of Science ( email )
1040 E. Fourth Street
Tucson, AZ 85721-0077
United States
Filippo Rossi
University of Arizona - College of Science ( email )
1040 E. Fourth Street
Tucson, AZ 85721-0077
United States
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