Altruism, Morality, and Economic Theory

Edmund S. Phelps
Paperback or Ebook
6.00 x9.00 in.
244 pages
May, 1975

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Presents a collection of papers by economists theorizing on the roles of altruism and morality versus self-interest in the shaping of human behavior and institutions. Specifically, the authors examine why some persons behave in an altruistic way without any apparent reward, thus defying the economist's model of utility maximization. The chapters are accompanied by commentaries from representatives of other disciplines, including law and philosophy.

EDMUND S. PHELPS is professor of economics at Columbia University.

CONTRIBUTORS: Kenneth J. Arrow, William Baumol, Bruce R. Bolnick, James M. Buchanan, Guido Calabresi, Peter Hammond, Edward F. McClennen, Roland N. McKean, Thomas Nagel, Wilfried Pauwels, Edmund S. Phelps, Amartya K. Sen, Karl Shell, William S. Vickrey, and Burton A. Weisbrod


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