Towards a conceptual framework in unitary economics: An extension of a proposition after John O'Brien
Dodo J. Thampapillai
Boon Tiong Lim
Purpose – The object of this paper is to demonstrate that the promotion of altruistic behavior can in fact be regarded as an instrument of public policy. Design/methodology/approach – This objective is achieved by adapting the standard theory of consumer behavior in microeconomics to the context of an individual who is exposed to the pursuit of altruistic and self-fulfilling egoistical goals. Findings – The conceptualization permits the distinction between types of welfare benefits that emerge from the pursuit of these different goals and demonstrate the presence of a welfare benefit transformation frontier. The framework permits the evaluation of policy instruments such as tax incentives and legislations to promote altruistic behavior. Originality/value – The paper combines concepts in behavioral economics with those in standard microeconomics to demonstrate policy measures that are usually not considered within policy circles.
Altruism, Economic policy, Microeconomics, Social benefits, Social welfare
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