Not all policies benefit their intended
targets even thoughthey are motivated by political altruism. This paper analyzes how
the frequency of altruistic behavior changes depending on whether consumers (i.e., the electorate) or producers (i.e., politicians) bear the responsibility.
It comparesthe strict liability rule, which means the altruist must bear all damages,
with the no liability rule, which means the recipient must bear all damages. Itfinds
that under the no liability rule,if politicians are altruist, the frequency of
altruistic behavior is less than under the strict liability rule. Therefore,
the paper shows that if politicians were altruists, they would prefer the
strict liability rule.
S. Harnay and A. Marciano, “Should I Help My Neighbor? Self-Interest, Altruism and Economic Analyses of Rescue Laws,” European Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2009, pp. 103-131.
M. C. W. Janssen and E. Mendys-Kamphorst, “The Price of a Price: On the Crowding out and in of Social Norms,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2004. pp. 377-395. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2002.11.004