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The Important Role of Social Motives in the Economic Domain

  • Fri, May 30 2008
    • Ernst Fehr

 My research over the last 20 years has aimed at a better understanding of the role of human motivation in economic and social interaction. Twenty to 30 years ago, mainstream thinking in economics was thoroughly based on the assumption of, first, rationality and, second, self interest. While it is undoubtedly the case that self interest is one important component in human motivation, it is not the only component and I always was convinced that social motives – motives to help, to support, to reciprocate, to cooperate, and to do justice to other people – play an important role, even in…

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