Dr Richard Povey

Stipendiary Lecturer in Economics

MA (Oxford), MPhil (Oxford), DPhil (Oxford)

Richard Povey joined Hertford College in October 2013 as a College Lecturer in Economics. He is currently also a tutor at Lincoln College. In the past, he has held positions as a College Lecturer in Economics at St Edmund Hall (2004-07), Keble College (2007-08), St Hilda's College (2008-09), Wadham College (2009-12), New College (2010-13), Brasenose College (2013-14) and at Balliol College in 2013.

His teaching interests are in Microeconomics and Macroeconomics for Prelims, the core papers in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Quantitative Economics, and the option papers in Game Theory and Public Economics.

Richard was an undergraduate at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he studied Philosophy Politics and Economics (2000-03). He then stayed on as a graduate student to read for the MPhil in Economics (2003-05). He took option papers in Public Economics and International Economics. He continued his graduate studies at St Edmund Hall, and went on to complete his DPhil in Economics in 2011. His DPhil thesis title was "The Socially Optimal Level of Altruism".

Undergraduate teaching 

Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Quantitative Economics, Public Economics, Game Theory

Postgraduate teaching 

Richard's primary research is on the consequences of altruistic motivation in economic theory. He uses game theoretic modelling techniques and social welfare analysis to show that altruism can have negative as well as positive effects, and hence that there may exist a “socially optimal level of altruism” for society as a whole. He is also interested in evolutionary game theory and optimal taxation theory.


Available at users.ox.ac.uk/~sedm1375

Published articles:

"Punishment and the Potency of Group Selection.", Journal of Evolutionary Economics (2014)

Working papers:

"The Limits to Altruism: A Survey."

"The Socially Optimal Level of Altruism."

"The Welfare Economics of Infectious Happiness."