Self and Neighbours

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Economic Record, 2012, 88 (SUPPL.1), pp. 137 - 148
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The paper notes the findings of a panel survey in the USA to motivate a framework to model altruistic behaviour by members of faith communities. We posit an internal tension within agents to be oriented to self or to neighbours. We model this by a mixed motive valuation function which values both classic utility (based on own consumption), and generosity to neighbours. In the short run, the value assigned to generosity by an agent is fixed; in the long run, it is determined by the agent's understanding and practice of 'love for neighbour' (as discussed in McCloskey, 2006), which, according to the Christian world view, is influenced by the agent's spiritual state. © 2012 The Economic Society of Australia.
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