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Sado-Masochistic Altruism in a Samaritan’s Dilemma

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: This paper analyzes the consequences of self-centered altruism – that is a form of altruism that does not care for wellbeing of recipient. We show that this altruism leads to a Samaritan’s dilemma but also that the Nash equilibrium in this game has two features. First, Samaritans prefer being exploited – than not being – which means that they accept to sacrifice their pleasure to enjoy the recipient’s pleasure. In other words, this form of altruism implies masochism. Second, we show that Samaritans prefer recipients to remain poor, which implies that this form of altruism also implies a form of sadism.

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