The Ecology of Altruistic Motivations in Triadic Social Environments

  • Angelo Antoci
  • Pier Luigi Sacco
  • Stefano Zamagni
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


For a long time, economists have maintained that individual preferences are part of the ‘fundamental’ level of description of an economic system. In particular, the widespread acceptance of methodological individualism has led economic analysis to treat preferences as the major ‘economically relevant’ characterization of individuality: the economic agent acts in such a way to maximize (on the basis of their information, computational abilities and so on) the degree of satisfaction of their preferences, and they are all the more rational the more they are able to mirror such preferences into action. In this perspective, thus, preferences are a primum movens that needs no further theoretical explanation, at least in the context of economic analysis.


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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelo Antoci
    • 1
  • Pier Luigi Sacco
    • 2
  • Stefano Zamagni
    • 2
  1. 1.University of SassariItaly
  2. 2.University of BolognaItaly

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