New South Wales

Lunchtime seminar - Loyalty, Power, and Identity: Integrating Group Processes with Economic Man


From: Thursday July 30, 2015, 12:15 pm

To: Thursday July 30, 2015, 1:45 pm

Gigi Foster (2)Date:     Thursday 30 July Time:     12.15pm for 12.30pm - 1.30pm Location: RBA, 65 Martin Place, Sydney Presenter: Associate Professor Gigi Foster Abstract:   Individual welfare maximization has dominated the teaching and practice of economics for decades.  Some authors have famously attacked the assumptions of this model of human behaviour.  Yet the economics discipline still lacks an integrated perspective that takes account of behaviours that are linked to groups – not just individuals – and directly influence our economic decisions. This wide-ranging discussion will discuss why this is a problem for economics, describe an approach to filling this gap, and provide several policy insights to emerge already from this approach in areas such as tax collection, inequality, and corruption.  The talk will draw on the output to date of several continuing research initiatives, including experimental, empirical, and theoretical work, and the ongoing project that produced the book An Economic Theory of Greed, Love, Groups, and Networks in 2013.  Themes such as monitoring, loyalty, rent-seeking, power, punishment, fanaticism, sacrifice, and professional integrity will be touched upon.  The talk will close by discussing strengths, threats, and possible future directions for our societies. Bio:  Gigi Foster is an Associate Professor with the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales, having received her BA from Yale, majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, and her PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland.  Her research interests and contributions lie in the areas of education, social influence, behavioural economics, and the multi-disciplinary analysis of human behaviour in groups.  Much of her published work focuses on aspects of decisions related to human capital investment and social influence. Dr Foster is also active in the Australian media, particularly in regard to matters of education policy and economic thought.


Reserve Bank of Australia

65 Martin Place , Sydney NSW 2000

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