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Opportunities as chances: maximising the probability that everybody succeeds

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  • Marco, Mariotti
  • Roberto, Veneziani

Abstract

Opportunities in society are commonly interpreted as `chances of success'. Within this interpretation, should opportunities be equalised? We show that a liberal principle of justice and a limited principle of social rationality imply that opportunity profiles should be evaluated by means of a `Nash' criterion. The interpretation is new: the social objective should be to maximise the chance that everybody in society succeeds. In particular, the failure of even only one individual must be considered maximally detrimental. We also study a refinement of this criterion and its extension to problems of intergenerational justice.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 41884.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:41884

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Keywords: Opportunities; chances in life; Non-Interference; Nash ordering;

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  8. Benabou, R. & Ok, E.A., 2000. "Mobility as Progressivity: Ranking Income Processes According to Equality of Opportunity," Papers 211, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
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  18. Marco Mariotti & Roberto Veneziani, 2009. "‘Non-interference’ implies equality," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 123-128, January.
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  21. Mariotti, Marco & Veneziani, Roberto, 2013. "On the impossibility of complete Non-Interference in Paretian social judgements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1689-1699.
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  24. Basu, Kaushik & Mitra, Tapan, 2003. "Utilitarianism for Infinite Utility Streams: A New Welfare Criterion and Its Axiomatic Characterization," Working Papers 03-05, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Michele Lombardi & Roberto Veneziani, 2009. "Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-078, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  2. Mariotti, Marco & Veneziani, Roberto, 2013. "On the impossibility of complete Non-Interference in Paretian social judgements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1689-1699.

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