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Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle

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  • Lombardi, Michele
  • Miyagishima, Kaname
  • Veneziani, Roberto

Abstract

This paper analyses the implications of classical liberal and libertarian approaches for distributive justice in the context of social welfare orderings. An axiom capturing a liberal non-interfering view of society, named the Weak Harm Principle, is studied, whose roots can be traced back to John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty. It is shown that liberal views of individual autonomy and freedom can provide consistent foundations for social welfare judgements, in both the finite and the infinite context. In particular, a liberal non-interfering approach can help to adjudicate some fundamental distributive issues relative to intergenerational justice. However, a surprisingly strong and general relation is established between liberal views of individual autonomy and non-interference, and egalitarian principles in the Rawlsian tradition.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 48458.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48458

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Keywords: Liberal principles; maximin; intergenerational equity; infinite utility streams.;

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Cited by:
  1. Mariotti, Marco & Veneziani, Roberto, 2012. "Allocating chances of success in finite and infinite societies: The utilitarian criterion," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 226-236.
  2. Marco Mariotti & Roberto Veneziani, 2009. "The Paradoxes of the Liberal Ethics of Non-interference," Working Papers, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance 653, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  3. Marco Mariotti & Roberto Veneziani, 2012. "Opportunities as chances: maximising the probability that everybody succeeds," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics 2012-09, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  4. Alcantud, José Carlos R. & García-Sanz, María D., 2010. "Evaluations of infinite utility streams: Pareto-efficient and egalitarian axiomatics," MPRA Paper 20133, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Michele Lombardi & Roberto Veneziani, 2009. "Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University gd09-078, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  6. Mariotti, Marco & Veneziani, Roberto, 2013. "On the impossibility of complete Non-Interference in Paretian social judgements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1689-1699.
  7. Alcantud, José Carlos R., 2011. "Liberal approaches to ranking infinite utility streams: When can we avoid interferences?," MPRA Paper 32198, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Marco Mariotti & Roberto Veneziani, 2014. "The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference and the Pareto Principle," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews 201404, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews, revised 01 Apr 2014.

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