The liberal egalitarian paradox
AbstractA 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 not possible to fulfil this ambition. Inequalities can only be justified on the basis of incentive considerations within a liberal egalitarian framework. Moreover, we demonstrate that there is a surprisingly thin line between strict egalitarianism and libertarianism, which implies that liberals easily may end up as libertarians if they weaken their egalitarian ambitions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 14/2004.
Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: 27 Oct 2004
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-HPE-2004-11-07 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
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