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A Liberal Egalitarian Paradox

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  • CAPPELEN, ALEXANDER W.
  • TUNGODDEN, BERTIL

Abstract

A liberal egalitarian theory of justice seeks to combine the values of equality, personal freedom, and personal responsibility. It is considered a much more promising position than strict egalitarianism, because it supposedly provides a fairness argument for inequalities reflecting differences in choice. However, we show that it is inherently difficult to fulfill this ambition. We present a liberal egalitarian paradox which shows that there does not exist any robust reward system that satisfies a minimal egalitarian and a minimal liberal requirement. Moreover, we demonstrate how libertarianism may be justified in this framework if we drop the egalitarian condition.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Economics and Philosophy.

Volume (Year): 22 (2006)
Issue (Month): 03 (November)
Pages: 393-408

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:22:y:2006:i:03:p:393-408_00

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Cited by:
  1. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Konow, James & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2010. "Just Luck: An Experimental Study of Risk Taking and Fairness," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 4/2010, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  2. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2004. "Rewarding effort," Memorandum 15/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Alexander Cappelen & Bertil Tungodden, 2011. "Distributive interdependencies in liberal egalitarianism," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 35-47, January.

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