Thursday, February 17, 2011


Why not. A little bit of optimism for your Thursday:

From Mitchell Hoffman, based on Holocaust data:
I find that (1) Richer countries had many more rescuers than poorer ones, and (2) Within countries, richer people were more likely to be rescuers than poorer people. The individual-level effect of income on being a rescuer remains significant after controlling for ease of rescue variables, such as the number of rooms in one's home, suggesting that the correlation of income and rescue is not solely driven by richer people having more resources for rescue. Given that richer people might be thought to have more to lose by rescuing, the evidence is consistent with the view that altruism increases in income.
Found here. Don't read the comments though. It's like looking up the real story of J.M. Barrie after watching Finding Neverland. I'd rather take both at Johnny Depp face value.


  1. You know what I think "If you want to help the poor, don't be one of them."

    I'd suggest that effective altruism and change often comes easier once your bed is made and you don't have to worry about about your own shelter. The worst is helping a charity and seeing the workers crippled by their own financial worries.

    PS, what's your thoughts re

  2. Maggie, this isn't optimistic! This means that if I want to pursue my childhood house dreams (single mother, recent non-smoker, working two jobs- one less than reputable- to keep food on the table) I have no chance of being altruistic. Thanks a lot.