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Alessandro Lanteri
 
''A note on the Trolley Problem and Three Weaknesses of Economic Theory ''
( 2010, Vol. 30 No.1 )
 
 
The trolley problem is a moral dilemmas in which human lives are in danger and some, but not all, can be saved by direct intervention of a decision-maker. This article discusses three weaknesses of microeconomics with respect to individual conduct in the trolley problem: (i) it cannot make predictions; (ii) after observing the conduct of participants in an experiment, it cannot explain their decisions; (iii) it cannot suggest policies that ensure the maximization of aggregate welfare, nor can it suggest laws that endorse the prevailing observed conduct.
 
 
Keywords: experiment, moral dilemma, trolley problem,
JEL: B4 - Economic Methodology: General
C9 - Design of Experiments: General
 
Manuscript Received : Oct 13 2009 Manuscript Accepted : Feb 09 2010

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