The Image of Man in the Economic Sciences In Light of the Financial Crisis and Recent Research Results

Christian A. Conrad


The image of Man in the Economic Sciences is examined in this paper from the perspective of behavioral economics and expanded using new interdisciplinary research findings. Experiments show that there are many people who selflessly do good deeds and feel better for doing so, not worse. This demonstrates a selfless motivation that contradicts the theory of utility maximization, or the concept of homo economicus. The fact that selfless, or even self-sacrificing, acts exist shows that such ethical behavior is part of human behavior. The experiments also show the influence of group behavior on economic decisions, which has been heretofore neglected in economic science. Not bad characters but moral hazards like unilateral compensation schemes are to blame for the subprime crisis. However teaching of ethical values is also needed.

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Applied Economics and Finance    ISSN 2332-7294 (Print)   ISSN 2332-7308 (Online)

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