Economic Thinking and Buddhist Thinking

This research projects aims to understand Buddhist thinking in rational choice terms and apply that to some important contemporary economic problems.

In both Buddhism and economics the central question is human happiness or the relief of human suffering. However, the answers in Buddhism and economics are opposite. In Buddhism, desires are like addictions. Buying goods and services does nothing to reduce the cravings. The only way to reduce suffering is to reduce the cravings themselves. This project models the Buddhist utility function and develops applications: corporate governance (No-self vs. Super-self), non-violent political protest strategies (self-immolation and Gandhian satyagraha), and environmental, financial and social interconnectedness (Self and Other).