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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

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Sugden, 1993. "Rights: Why do they matter, and to whom?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 127-152, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:4:y:1993:i:1:p:127-152 DOI: 10.1007/BF02393285
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Julian H. Blau, 1975. "Liberal Values and Independence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(3), pages 395-401.
    2. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-157, Jan.-Feb..
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    Cited by:

    1. Mariotti, Marco & Veneziani, Roberto, 2014. "The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference and the Pareto Principle," SIRE Discussion Papers 2014-016, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. Romain Espinosa, 2016. "State provision of constitutional goods," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 1-40, March.

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