Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-mqrwx Total loading time: 0.656 Render date: 2022-11-30T09:37:10.815Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

5 - The Domain of Reciprocity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2019

Adam Oliver
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
Get access

Summary

In the specific design of public policy interventions, reciprocity, somewhat strangely, has until relatively recently been largely overlooked as a key motivator of human behaviour. Rather, the debate on public sector governance and human motivation has tended to focus on the dichotomy of pure altruism and selfish egoism, with the latter generally winning out over recent decades, because the egoism that some have interpreted as being essential to achieve efficiency in the economic exchange has also been embraced by many as applicable to social exchanges. Yet this chapter argues that when we examine the writings of the classical economists we find that over complex goods with much asymmetry of information, the assumption that people either should be or are selfish egoists is not integral to efficient economic exchange, let alone social exchange. The modern supporters of using egoism to inform the design of public policy may contend that this admittedly ever-present aspect of human behaviour can be harnessed to positive ends, but by legitimising egoism we will perhaps crowd out reciprocal altruism, to the detriment of group cooperation.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • The Domain of Reciprocity
  • Adam Oliver, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Reciprocity and the Art of Behavioural Public Policy
  • Online publication: 06 July 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108647755.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • The Domain of Reciprocity
  • Adam Oliver, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Reciprocity and the Art of Behavioural Public Policy
  • Online publication: 06 July 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108647755.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Domain of Reciprocity
  • Adam Oliver, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Reciprocity and the Art of Behavioural Public Policy
  • Online publication: 06 July 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108647755.005
Available formats
×