Category Archives: Ethics

How effective is your altruism?

(featured image credit: Yukiko Matsuoka CC/BY) We cannot escape profound, inevitable trade-offs when it comes to how we use our resources – including when we give them away.  Next time you pay for your groceries at the supermarket, have a look … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioural economics, Economics, Ethics, Morality, Philosophy, Psychology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

(Behavioural) economics through sunglasses

(featured image credit: Jennifer Stahn BY/CC) When you’ve embraced economic thinking, even a summer break from work doesn’t stop you from seeing how profoundly us humans truly are economic beings This summer I have once again been wearing my trusted economics … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioural economics, Cognitive biases and fallacies, Economics, Ethics, Psychology, Society | Tagged | Leave a comment

Organ donation in da nation

(featured image: Engin_Aykurt) Enough with the nudging already – why not simply pay people to donate their organs? One of my earliest childhood memories is hearing on the radio about an operation performed by Dr Christiaan Barnard at the Groote Schuur … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioural economics, Cognitive biases and fallacies, Economics, Ethics, Law, Morality, Psychology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Inescapable philosophy?

(featured image credit: Thor Edvardsen) Do we need philosophy to fully understand and explain our behaviour? (I am going to make a quick assumption here about your honesty.) How come you never engage in something like shoplifting? Surely doing so is … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioural economics, Cognitive biases and fallacies, Economics, Ethics, Morality, Philosophy | Tagged | Leave a comment

Is it our business?

(Image credit: stevepb) Sometimes characteristics of products or services, or of those who sell them, immaterial as they are, can greatly influence our willingness to pay. Should they be any of our business? 500 years ago, on 31 October 1517, Martin … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioural economics, Economics, Emotions, Ethics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Selling your soul

(featured image: wikimedia) The trade-offs we don’t want to make (but believe others should) Not much is known with any certainty about Johann Georg Faust. Wikipedia describes him as an alchemist, astrologer and magician, who was born in either 1466 … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioural economics, Economics, Ethics, Morality | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A token of appreciation

(featured image credit: Crishna Simmons) About the remarkably behavioural approach supermarkets have taken to buff up their image and engage their customers in the process Companies are learning that being seen to ‘do the right thing’ is good for their brand … Continue reading

Posted in Behavioural economics, Cognitive biases and fallacies, Economics, Emotions, Ethics | Tagged , | Leave a comment