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Should We Overlook All Altruistic Behavior by Politicians?

DOI: 10.4236/tel.2013.33023, PP. 146-151

Keywords: Altruism, Liability, Caveat Emptor, Caveat Venditor

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Abstract:

Not all policies benefit their intended targets even though they 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 compares the strict liability rule, which means the altruist must bear all damages, with the no liability rule, which means the recipient must bear all damages. It finds 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.

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