Purpose - The object of this paper is to demonstrate that the promotion of altruistic behavior can in fact be regarded as an instrument of public policy. Design/methodology/approach - This objective is achieved by adapting the standard theory of consumer behavior in microeconomics to the context of an individual who is exposed to the pursuit of altruistic and self-fulfilling egoistical goals. Findings - The conceptualization permits the distinction between types of welfare benefits that emerge from the pursuit of these different goals and demonstrate the presence of a welfare benefit transformation frontier. The framework permits the evaluation of policy instruments such as tax incentives and legislations to promote altruistic behavior. Originality/value - The paper combines concepts in behavioral economics with those in standard microeconomics to demonstrate policy measures that are usually not considered within policy circles.