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To Help or not to Help: The Samaritan's Dilemma Revisited

Dieter Schmidtchen

No 99-09, CSLE Discussion Paper Series from Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics

Abstract: Helping somebody may undermine his incentives to work. What Buchanan identified more than 25 years ago as the Samaritan's dilemma is basically a time-inconsistency problem. The paper discusses possible solutions of the dilemma such as punishment within an iterated game, reshaping the game in the direction of a dynamic one-shot game and the delegation of the power of decision to an agent. The paper shows that only the latter option works.

Keywords: Samaritan's Dilemma; Game Theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1999
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