Altruism, Egoism and Other Social Sciences in the Economy: Experiments and empirical Evidences (ALTRUÍSMO E EGOÍSMO NA ECONOMIA E EM OUTRAS CIÊNCIAS SOCIAIS: EXPERIMENTOS E EVIDÊNCIAS EMPÍRICAS)
Revista de Economia, Vol. 28, 2003
22 Pages Posted: 17 May 2006
This article analyses the literature on altruism produced in economics (and also in psychology and socio-biology). Altruism is generally regarded as behaviour alternative to self-interest pursuit. Selfish behaviour, as assumed by traditional economic models, is contested by a vast series of empirical and experimental observations. As a result, different accounts have been produced to explain altruistic behaviour. The idea of cultural or biological selection plays a key role among them, involving elements as various as emotions, uncertainty, rationality and cognitive processes. The aim of the article is to provide a survey of the current standings on the issue of which assumption, the selfishness or the altruistic treat of human behavior, is the most apposite to economic studies, and whether or not they can both stand together in the field.
Keywords: altruism, culture, rationality, evolution
JEL Classification: C90
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation