Spring ’21 Inspiration Lecture 6
Distinguished Lecture in Economics
The Samaritan’s Curse: Group Behavior, Morality, and the Role of the Leader
Friday, April 30, 7:00PM (New Delhi)
Professor Kaushik Basu
Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies
When a group behaves badly, how should we apportion moral responsibility across the individuals? The lecture will examine this age-old problem and try to shed new light on it. It will investigate the sources of power of a leader, and the leaders’ responsibility for the behavior of their followers, as happened during the storming of the Capitol in Washington D. C. on 6 January, 2021. Using elementary game theory, the lecture will also highlight some paradoxical results, such as the Samaritan’s Curse game, and leave the audience with new, open-ended problems to resolve.
About the speaker:
Kaushik Basu is Professor of Economics and the Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University. He is currently President of the International Economic Association, serving a term 2017-2020. He was formerly Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank, 2012-16, and, prior to that, Chief Economic Adviser to the Indian Government, 2009-2012.
Basu received his PhD and M.Sc (Econ) from the London School of Economics and BA (Hons) from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He has received honorary doctorates from several institutes and universities, including IIT Bombay, Fordham University New York, and the University of Bath U.K.
Kaushik Basu has published widely in the areas of Development Economics, Industrial Organization, Game Theory and Welfare Economics. His two most recent books are An Economist in the Real World: The Art of Policymaking in India (MIT Press and Penguin Random House, 2015) and The Republic of Beliefs: A New Approach to Law and Economics (Princeton University Press, 2018. His books have been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Russian and French.
Professor Basu has contributed popular articles to magazines and newspapers, such as The New York Times, Scientific American, India Today, Business Standard and BBC News Online.
In May 2008 he was awarded one of India’s highest civilian awards, the Padma Bhushan, by the President of India. Kaushik Basu has held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and the London School of Economics, Harvard University, Princeton University and M.I.T. He was Professor of Economics at the Delhi School of Economics, where in 1992 he founded the Centre for Development Economics and was its first Executive Director. He is also a founding member of the Madras School of Economics.
Moderator: Prof. Rajesh Chakrabarti, Dean, JGBS