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A Kantian critique of neoclassical law and economics

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  • Mark White

Abstract

This paper outlines a critique of neoclassical law and economics based on the ethics of Immanuel Kant, focusing on four central topics: efficiency as the sole evaluative criterion for policy-making, hypothetical compensation in Kaldor-Hicks efficiency, the instrumental nature of rights and the assumption of reciprocal causation, and the role of punishment to both society and the individual. This overview addresses issues of concern not just to Kantians, but to anyone dissatisfied with the utilitarian foundations of law and economics and the amoral view of law upon which it is based.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark White, 2006. "A Kantian critique of neoclassical law and economics," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 235-252.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:18:y:2006:i:2:p:235-252
    DOI: 10.1080/09538250600571494
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. White, Mark D., 2004. "Can homo economicus follow Kant's categorical imperative?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 89-106, March.
    2. Mark White, 2004. "Preaching to the choir: A response to Kaplow and Shavell's Fairness Versus Welfare," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 507-515.
    3. Lanse Minkler, 1999. "The Problem with Utility: Toward a Non-Consequentialist/Utility Theory Synthesis," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(1), pages 4-24.
    4. Friedman, David & Sjostrom, William, 1993. "Hanged for a Sheep--The Economics of Marginal Deterrence," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 345-366, June.
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