Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare

Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare

by Marc Fleurbaey
     
 


What is a fair distribution of resources and other goods when individuals are partly responsible for their achievements? This book develops a theory of fairness incorporating a concern for personal responsibility, opportunities and freedom. With a critical perspective, it makes accessible the recent developments in economics and philosophy that define social… See more details below

Overview


What is a fair distribution of resources and other goods when individuals are partly responsible for their achievements? This book develops a theory of fairness incorporating a concern for personal responsibility, opportunities and freedom. With a critical perspective, it makes accessible the recent developments in economics and philosophy that define social justice in terms of equal opportunities. It also proposes new perspectives and original ideas. The book separates mathematical sections from the rest of the text, so that the main concepts and ideas are easily accessible to non-technical readers.

It is often thought that responsibility is a complex notion, but this monograph proposes a simple analytical framework that makes it possible to disentangle the different concepts of fairness that deal with neutralizing inequalities for which the individuals are not held responsible, rewarding their effort, respecting their choices, or staying neutral with respect to their responsibility sphere. It dwells on paradoxes and impossibilities only as a way to highlight important ethical options and always proposes solutions and reasonable compromises among the conflicting values surrounding equality and responsibility.

The theory is able to incorporate disincentive problems and is illustrated in the examination of applied policy issues such as: income redistribution when individuals may be held responsible for their choices of labor supply or education; social and private insurance when individuals may be held responsible for their risky lifestyle; second chance policies; the measurement of inequality of opportunities and social mobility.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199215911
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
08/15/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

1 Defining fairness 15

2 Distributing fairly 41

3 Introduction to incentive issues 73

4 Unequal skills 101

5 Income redistribution 127

6 Risk, insurance and option luck 153

7 Fresh starts 177

8 Utilitarian reward 199

9 Inequalities of opportunity and social mobility 225

10 Responsibility, freedom and social justice 245

Bibliography 277

Index 289

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