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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

Towards a conceptual framework in unitary economics: An extension of a proposition after John O'Brien

Thampapillai, DJ; Öhlmer, B; Lim, BT


We develop a simple framework from within microeconomics to illustrate the welfare benefits of supporting altruism in an economy. The framework is based on an adapted theory of consumer behavior where an individual is exposed to the pursuit of altruistic and self-fulfilling egoistical goals. We also distinguish between two types of welfare benefits that emerge from the pursuit of these different goals and demonstrate the presence of a welfare benefit transformation frontier. The framework permits the evaluation of policy instruments such as tax incentives and legislations to promote altruistic behavior


Altruism; Economic policy; Microeconomics; Social benefits; Social welfare

Published in

International Journal of Social Economics
2005, volume: 32, number: 10, pages: 868-876

Authors' information

Öhlmer, Bo
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Thampapillai, Jesuthason
Boon Tiong, Lim

UKÄ Subject classification

Economics and Business
Social Sciences

Publication Identifiers


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