JOIN VIRTUALLY! Altruism, Insurance, and Costly Solidarity Commitments


Location: Virtual event

In accordance with updated University guidelines on limiting public gatherings in light of COVID-19 concerns, this event will be offered virtually via Zoom, with a limit of 25 participants. See below for information on registering for this event. Upon registration, you will receive the paper and instructions on how to join by computer or phone.

In this interdisciplinary seminar, Kellogg Distinguished Research Affiliate Chris Barrett will discuss research on inter-household transfers in the village economies of rural Ghana. Based on a randomized study of experimental household data, Barrett and his co-authors reject core predictions of dominant conceptual models that explain transfers based exclusively on self-interested behavior. They find that unobservable income shocks may facilitate altruistic giving targeted towards less well-off individuals within one's network, and that too large a network can induce social taxation pressures that overwhelm even an altruistic agent, inducing her to cease giving. This matters because our understanding of the mechanisms behind inter-household transfers informs appropriate design of policy, for example, of cash transfer programs.

The paper will be circulated in advance to facilitate in-depth discussion and feedback following Barrett’s talk.

Please visit to register.