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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Cappelen, Alexander W. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2006. "A Liberal Egalitarian Paradox," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(03), pages 393-408, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:22:y:2006:i:03:p:393-408_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Arnaud Lefranc & Alain Trannoy, 2017. "Equality of opportunity, moral hazard and the timing of luck," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 49(3), pages 469-497, December.
    2. Alexander W. Cappelen & James Konow & Erik ?. S?rensen & Bertil Tungodden, 2013. "Just Luck: An Experimental Study of Risk-Taking and Fairness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1398-1413, June.
    3. Alexander Cappelen & Bertil Tungodden, 2011. "Distributive interdependencies in liberal egalitarianism," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 36(1), pages 35-47, January.
    4. repec:spr:sochwe:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00355-016-1016-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. David Chavanne & Kevin A. McCabe & Maria Pia Paganelli, 2015. "Are Self-Made Men Made Equally? An Experimental Test of Impartial Redistribution and Perceptions of Self-Determination," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 40, pages 1-3.
    6. Alexander Cappelen & Bertil Tungodden, 2009. "Rewarding effort," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 39(3), pages 425-441, June.
      • Cappelen, Alexander W. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2004. "Rewarding effort," Memorandum 15/2004, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    7. repec:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:3:p:381-401 is not listed on IDEAS

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