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How To Solve The Moral Dilemma Of Helping A Fallen Old Man - From An Economic Point Of View


  • Li Fengsen

    () (PBC School of Finance, Tsinghua University, 43 Chengfu Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, People’s Republic of China)


In recent years, a peculiar phenomenon has happened time and time again and aroused hot social discussions in China. It is the fact that when an old man (or woman) falls down on the street, most passers-by dare not to help him, or in other cases, when one of them does offer his (or her) help, he might be accused of having knocked the old man down. As a result, nowadays in China, most people will not help a fallen old man for fear of being falsely accused. From an economic point of view, this paper points out that this peculiar phenomenon, which I call it a moral dilemma of helping a fallen old man, not only is a moral issue, but also closely relates to the intrinsic defects within China’s current institutions. In order to solve this moral dilemma, some improvement measures have to be taken not only in public moral education, but in the legal institutions, civil administration, health care system and public opinion guidance as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Li Fengsen, 2013. "How To Solve The Moral Dilemma Of Helping A Fallen Old Man - From An Economic Point Of View," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 11, pages 11-26, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aic:revebs:y:2013:i:11:fengsenl

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    China; Game Theory; economic man; moral dilemma; institutional economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact


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