A Different Perspective on Empathy

Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University, takes a stance against using empathy as a motivational tool for charitable giving in his new book, “Against Empathy.” The definition of empathy used by many focuses on the ability to feel another person’s emotions or feelings in general. Bloom argues that this type of perspective is actually harmful in many different aspects when it comes to making decisions of morality. In a recent episode of Econtalk, Russ Roberts meets with Bloom to discuss this view of empathy that could be seen as controversial to many. Bloom’s main argument focuses on this definition Continue reading A Different Perspective on Empathy

The Economics of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

In case you’ve lived under a rock over the summer, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been a campaign to encourage donation to the ALS Association, an organization that provides support to those afflicted by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised an enormous amount of money, and has many people talking about the economic principles behind donation – whether they realize it or not. First, Vox helped to dispel the notion that people shouldn’t participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge because it’s a waste of water. In fact, compared to productive activities which use water, the ice Continue reading The Economics of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge