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Join us for the latest Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity Brown Bag, featuring professor Gary Lynne, University of Nebraska.
All are welcome. Light refreshements will be served.
A great deal of research effort has been directed at finding solutions to the classic tragedy of the commons problem arising from unrestrained self-interest. Ostrom (Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems. Nobel Prize Lecture, December 8, 2009) suggests the solution rests in addressing the “complex motivational structures” associated with common-pool resources and developing a “new theory” of human behavior. This presentation points to a new theory that makes explicit the role of empathy (and sympathy) in choices affecting such resources. It starts with a metaeconomics framework, leading to dual interest theory, which in turn points to a dual motive model, wherein self-interest is tempered and restrained by other (shared with others) -interest, the latter also an internalized interest. The complexity is resolved in the construct of own-interest, which includes a balance and integration of self- and other-interest. Results from both survey and experimental based tests of the theory suggest empathy may be a key variable in restraining self-interest, and thus in solving the common-pool problem.
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