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Rights: Why do they matter, and to whom?

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  • Robert Sugden

Abstract

Following Sen, social choice theorists often formulate rights in terms of relationships between individuals' preferences and social preferences. An alternative “procedural” formulation treats rights as properties of game forms. This paper reviews the debate between the proponents of these two approaches, focusing in particular on Sen's claim that the procedural approach is inflexible in its refusal to make trade-offs between rights violations. It looks at different answers to the question, “Why do rights matter?” It argues that, if a contractarian answer is given, there are good reasons not to make trade-offs. Copyright George Mason University 1993

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF02393285
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Constitutional Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 4 (1993)
Issue (Month): 1 (December)
Pages: 127-152

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Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:4:y:1993:i:1:p:127-152

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102866

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  1. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-57, Jan.-Feb..
  2. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Blau, Julian H, 1975. "Liberal Values and Independence," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 395-401, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Marco Mariotti & Roberto Veneziani, 2014. "The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference and the Pareto Principle," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2014-01, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.

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