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Recasting Egalitarianism: New Rules for Communities, States and Markets

Overview

Two prominent economists lead a debate to redistribute wealth. In Recasting Egalitarianism, part of Verso's Real Utopias series, economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis diagnose the current malaise of the Left as a result of the obsolescence of its traditional economic models. They propose to rejuvenate the egalitarian project through a strategy of asset-based redistribution, drawing in novel ways on markets, competition, state regulation and community governance. In this major work on economic and social ...
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Overview

Two prominent economists lead a debate to redistribute wealth. In Recasting Egalitarianism, part of Verso's Real Utopias series, economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis diagnose the current malaise of the Left as a result of the obsolescence of its traditional economic models. They propose to rejuvenate the egalitarian project through a strategy of asset-based redistribution, drawing in novel ways on markets, competition, state regulation and community governance. In this major work on economic and social policy, the authors address the twin challenges posed by a globally integrated economy and the key economic roles now played by information, motivation, and other intangibles. They propose an egalitarian redistribution of assets - land, capital, and housing - and argue for the beneficial disciplining effects of competition both in markets and among publicly-funded service providers, pointing out that the injustices commonly associated with markets can be avoided if assets are more equally distributed. The lead essay in the book lays out the underlying logic of this proposal in some detail. This is followed by responses by critics and supporters.

Contributors include: Harry Brighouse, Michael Carter, Steve Durlauf, Paula England, David Gordon, Daniel M. Hausman, Karla Hoff, Andrew Levine, Elaine McCrate, Karl Ove Moen, Ugo Pagano, John E. Roomer, Peter Skott, Michael Wallerstein, Erik Olin Wright.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Recasting Egalitarianism is an exceptionally stimulating collection of essays ... compulsory reading for everyone concerned with the policies and politics of equality.”—Frank Vandenbrouke, former Vice-Prime Minister of Belgium of leader of the Socialistiche Partij

“This is a timely, original and enormously useful book for rethinking alternatives to the status quo, in Latin America and elsewhere.”—Jorge G. Castaneda, author of Utopia Unarmed: The Latin American Left after the Cold War; and Campanero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859842553
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Series: Real Utopias Project Series
  • Pages: 412
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Bowles is an American economist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Herbert Gintis is an American behavioral scientist, educator, and author. He is currently Professor at the Central European University and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

Erik Olin Wright is Vilas Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of many books, including Classes, Interrogating Inequality, Class Counts, Deepening Democracy (with Archon Fung), and Envisioning Real Utopias. For more information on Envisioning Real Utopias and the Real Utopias project, and to access book content, please visit realutopias.org (site in progress).

John E. Roemer is the Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Professor of Political Science and Economics. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and has been a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Preface: The Real Utopias Project
Introduction
Pt. I A Proposal for Egalitarian Markets
1 Efficient Redistribution: New Rules for Markets, States and Communities 3
Pt. II General Assessments of the Proposal
2 Problems with Supply-side Egalitarianism 75
3 Equality, Community, and 'Efficient Redistribution' 86
4 Which Norms? How Much Gain? Two Reasons to Limit Markets 103
5 Norms and Efficiency 113
6 Efficiency Politics 121
Pt. III Specific Institutional Contexts
7 School Choice: Theoretical Considerations 141
8 Conflict and Cooperation: An Empirical Glimpse of the Imperatives of Efficiency and Redistribution 181
9 How Do We Support Children? 208
Pt. IV Criticisms of the Economic Model
10 The Limits of Private-property-based Egalitarianism 221
11 Redistribution of Assets Versus Redistribution of Income 229
12 The Crisis of Egalitarian Policy and the Promises of Asset-based Redistribution 244
Pt. V Extensions of the Economic Model
13 Associational Redistribution: A Defense 261
14 Redistributions of Assets and Distributions of Asymmetric Information 285
15 On the Economics of Realizing and Sustaining the Efficient Redistribution of Productive Assets 319
16 Market Failures and the Distribution of Wealth: A Perspective from the Economics of Information 332
Pt. VI Reconsiderations
17 Recasting Egalitarianism 361
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