top of page

Your Warm Glow...

Roberto F. Salazar-Córdova


"Past research has found that we adapt surprisingly quickly to the good things we get in life, a phenomenon psychologists call hedonic adaptation. Doing something for the first time is likely to make us happier than doing something for the fiftieth time; we get used to it and take it for granted.
But do we adapt in the same way to giving good things to others? Research suggests that people who spend money on someone else experience a larger boost in happiness than people who spend money on themselves, at least in the short term. A recent study in the journal Psychological Science set out to test how the benefits of giving and getting compare over time, as they become routine
It appeared that spending money on someone else—as opposed to spending it on oneself—had more lasting consequences for happiness. “Giving for giving’s sake may feel good for longer than does comparable getting, even when repeatedly helping in identical ways,” the study authors write. “Happiness from giving appears to sustain itself.”..."

By reading this article, published by Berkeley, I remembered my old days as an academic in Chile, during the 90s.

In one of those "Br'own Bag Lunch" debates we gladly had the opportunity to discuss James Andreoni's (1990) "Impure Altruism" and his novel concept of "Warm Glow"...


For all of us in the room, Andreoni's paper was a masterpiece.

In my personal life, that discovery allowed me to embrace fully my "evil" profession as an "Individualistic Economist", and my "divine" Altruistic DNA@+ (inherited from my parents and the whole dear and beloved Christian family to which I belong with care).

If you pursue your own interest for the sake of your own benefit, according to your preferences (in the markets, or in the state/society), you can vote in private for good public policies because that produces a "warm glow" in you that inspires the best side of your social being and is compatible with your "evil" individualistic behavior.

The same, you can go and buy goods and services in the markets according to your individual preferences, generating welfare for others, or you can create private impact via markets!

You can do it, not because you care necessarily for others, or any of that good thing that we think should be done in "pure" altruism, but because in "behavioral economics" you are an "addict" to your "warm glow": that kind of green, blue, white, yellow, orange, or red energy that flows around you when you buy a product that makes a difference and just makes you happy...

To me, that is enough for making Economics a real and ethical profession, and allowing us to work the ADN@+ side of ourselves with respect for what is good, and love for the others in the exact same amount in which we love ourselves...

That, for me, is the basic knowledge we need to embrace with reason and force, the dialogue as a cause...

Have you felt your Warm Glow turning on?

Would you like to join us?

35 visualizaciones0 comentarios


bottom of page