Why Do the Rich Give Less?

What motivates people to give their money to charity? As a college student I have heard many of my peers say things like, “well if I had more money I would donate more to charity”, but is that the case for the rest of Americans? When it comes to giving, humans clearly stray away from the rational model. Charitable preferences are never stable, information is very rarely asymmetric, and utility differs depending on how the donation is given and perceived. One of the most surprising facts of charity in America is that the people who can afford to give the Continue reading Why Do the Rich Give Less?

Thesis Corner: Lorraine Black on Video Games

Below I present an interview I had with our very own Lorraine Black, discussing her highly intriguing senior economic thesis. Let’s dive right in! Okay, first couple questions: what was the topic of your thesis, and why did you pick that? The topic of my senior thesis was the economic behavior of consumers that play free-to-play multiplayer online video games. I picked it because it struck me as pretty irrational behavior in a relatively new industry. Also I like video games. Good a reason as any. What were your findings? I conducted a survey of 300 League of Legends players Continue reading Thesis Corner: Lorraine Black on Video Games

The Economics of Spite

What are the motives behind spite? Why are individuals willing to take on large costs in order to exact “revenge” on other? Is spite unique to humans? In an episode of the Freakonomics radio show called Spite Happens, an economics approach is used to explain spite and takes a look at the trade-offs behind the spite mentality. Warning! The beginning of this show contains a graphic example that includes sexual violence. If you’d wish to skip this, jump to 4:12. Imagine an experiment where individuals sit down in front of computers and are randomly paired up with another player. The players do not know each other Continue reading The Economics of Spite