Archives for altruism

"The Donors Are Taking the Place of the State"

A group of 40 American billionaires, led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, has publicly vowed to donate at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Gates and Buffett, through their project The Giving Pledge, hope to persuade the 400 richest Americans to join them. If successful, the duo could generate an unprecedented $600 billion for charity (Americans as a whole donate about $300 billion a year). A laudable example of pure altruism, right? German shipping tycoon Peter Krämer thinks not Read More »

Do "Green" Products Cause Bad Behavior?

New research indicates that exposure to green products and the purchase of green products have vastly different effects on behavior. Read More »

“We Pretend We Are Christians”

A Freakonomics reader in Texas fakes her religion for the sake of her kids. Read More »

What's Next: A Do-Not-Knock Registry?

John List had better be careful. His research is very valuable to the philanthropic community; but if this latest paper engenders a public outcry for a “do-not-knock” registry, he might quickly become a pariah. Read More »

End-of-the-Year Altruists

Yes, today is December 31. So get off this site and go find someplace to exercise your altruism, as impure as it may be. Read More »

Charity Won't Contain This Secondary Market

Each year I receive about 10 introductory economics textbooks from publishers. The purpose is to induce me to adopt the book in my 500-student principles class… Read More »

iPhone Altruism for Potential Organ Donors

Organ donation is one of the most altruistic things a person can do. And yet, Chapter 3 of SuperFreakonomics spells out, relying on altruism for organ donations has proved to be largely unsuccessful. There are a lot of reasons people give for not signing up as organ donors. Read More »

What Can Adorable Robots Teach Us About Altruism?

Kacie Kinzer’s robots have always depended on the kindness of strangers. Read More »