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Altriusm as part of Behavioural Economics - Zuckerberg joins the list of big philanthropists

Jonny Clark

3rd December 2015

Altruism has been included as part of the new specifications for A level Economics. The concept is included as part of the greater emphasis on behavioural economics as evidence of the growing challenge to the concept of purely rational consumer behaviour. Why would someone give away so much of their own money and assets, foregoing the utility that would come from their wealth?

Mark Zuckerberg has just joined the list of great philanthropists that includes Bill Gates and Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim. Zuckerberg is to give 99% of his shareholding in Facebook to charity, worth an estimated $45bn. For many, his motivations will seem very rational indeed - he wishes to use his vast wealth to create a better world for his newborn child. After all, he hasn't been left penniless despite his generosity.

This article from the Guardian gives a list and explanation of some of the biggest altruistic donors.

The video below gives a little more detail behind Zuckerberg's decision.


Jonny Clark

Jon Clark has been teaching economics and business studies for over 25 years primarily in the Further Education sector. Before joining tutor2u, he was a senior manager at South Cheshire College in Crewe.

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