Charity Case: A Class Competition that Combats Economics Students’ Proclivity Toward Self-Interested Behavior

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This paper describes a class competition that introduces students to the concept of effective altruism and metrics used to evaluate the effectiveness of charities. A well-established strand of literature demonstrates that economics students are more likely to behave in a self-interested way than are students from other disciplines. An entirely separate strand of literature reveals that the act of charitable giving increases the happiness of the donor. This class exercise motivates students to increase their prosocial donative behavior by appealing to their self- interest.


Stephanie Owings-Edwards