IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli


  • Lindbeck, Assar
  • Weibull, Jorgen W


This paper analyzes the strategic and intertemporal interaction between two economic agents who have "overlapping" concerns, such as altruistic concerns for each other's welfare. The agents may be two individuals, a social bureau and a client, or two units in an organization. The authors show how the presence of such common concerns may lead to socially inefficient outcomes, in which one economic agent "free rides" on the other's concerns. They also brief ly discuss how this inefficiency and free riding, in the context of interaction between individuals, might be mitigated by compulsory social security systems. As another example, the authors interpret th e inefficiency in terms of Janos Kornai's "soft budget constraints" within organizations. Copyright 1988 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1988. "Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1165-1182, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:96:y:1988:i:6:p:1165-82
    DOI: 10.1086/261582

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers. See for details.

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:96:y:1988:i:6:p:1165-82. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Journals Division (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.