December 30, 2008

Jeffrey Sachs interview

Economist Robert H. Frank once found in research he did that studying economics appears to inhibit cooperative behavior. Students of economics are thorougly confronted with the too simple 'rational man' or 'homo economicus' theories which dominate economics and as they do they get less and less inclined to show prosocial behavior. For more information on this you may listen to this interview or read this research description or read this book.

One economist who certainly seems to have been able to escape this effect is Jeffrey Sachs. This leading economist is the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. As can be read on his wikipedia page, Sachs is renowned for his work on economic development, environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, debt cancellation, and globalization.

Here is an interview with Sachs: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8. The introduction is in Dutch, the interview is in English and it starts at 2:37. Here is an interesting quote from that interview: "We have constantly done the supposedly impossible in the world and people do want to be part of something bigger than themselves. And that is what makes for great achievements."

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