A theory of good intentions
Altruists’ impacts often fall short of their intentions. To examine this I model an altruist who derives warm glow from his perceptions of outcomes, as opposed to the outcomes themselves. For example, a donor who sponsors a child in a developing country feels good about his perceptions of the child’s wellbeing, accurate or not. Such an altruist rationally avoids most (but not all) information that could guide his actions, and all feedback on their effects. On the supply side, intermediaries such as charities can increase revenue by limiting the availability of specific kinds of information, depending on donor motives. These incentives are not unwound by competition. Optimal policy trades off the quantity and ``quality’‘ of giving.
Date: 15 June 2018, 12:00 (Friday, 8th week, Trinity 2018)
Venue: Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbe's Street OX1 1PT
Venue Details: Suite 5 - Petrov Room, Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbes Street. At the entrance, buzz for the Future of Humanity Institute. Suite 5 is on the 1st floor.
Speaker: Prof Paul Niehaus (UC San Diego)
Organising department: Faculty of Philosophy
Organisers: Hayden Wilkinson (University of Oxford), Dr Michelle Hutchinson (University of Oxford), Prof Hilary Greaves (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address: hayden.wilkinson@philosophy.ox.ac.uk
Part of: Global Priorities Seminars
Booking required?: Recommended
Booking email: hayden.wilkinson@philosophy.ox.ac.uk
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Michelle Hutchinson