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Seinfeld Economics: The Calzone

by Linda Ghent

Altruism is selfless concern for the welfare of others. Altruism focuses on a motivation to help others or a want to do something good without reward.

An incentive is any factor (financial or non-financial) that enables or motivates a particular course of action, or counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives.

Utility is an economic concept referring to the precise degree of personal satisfaction, pleasure, or sense of want-fulfillment an individual derives from consuming some quantity of a good or service at a particular point in time.

Seinfeld: The Calzone

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George puts a dollar in the tip jar at the pizzeria, but the counterman's head was turned and he didn't see it. George laments that it cost him a dollar, but he got no credit for it. His altruism is not pure—he gets utility not from giving, but from getting credit for giving.

from Seinfeld, Season 7 (1996)
Creator: Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld
Posted by Linda Ghent