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Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle

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  • Michele Lombardi
  • Kaname Miyagishima
  • Roberto Veneziani

Abstract

This paper analyses Rawls's celebrated difference principle, and its lexicographic extension, in societies with a finite and an infinite number of agents. A unified framework of analysis is set up, which allows one to characterise Rawlsian egalitarian principles by means of a weaker version of a new axiom - the Harm Principle - recently proposed by [13]. This is quite surprising, because the Harm principle is meant to capture a liberal requirement of noninterference and it incorporates no obvious egalitarian content. A set of new characterisations of the maximin and of its lexicographic refinement are derived, including in the intergenerational context with an infinite number of agents.
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Suggested Citation

  • Michele Lombardi & Kaname Miyagishima & Roberto Veneziani, 2016. "Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(597), pages 2173-2196, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:597:p:2173-2196
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.2016.126.issue-597
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michele Lombardi & Kaname Miyagishima & Roberto Veneziani, 2016. "Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(597), pages 2173-2196, November.
    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.
    3. 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.
    4. Marco Mariotti & Roberto Veneziani, 2014. "The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference and the Pareto Principle," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201404, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews, revised 01 Apr 2014.
    5. repec:wly:econjl:v:128:y:2018:i:611:p:1609-1633 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Marco Mariotti & Roberto Veneziani, 2009. "The Paradoxes of the Liberal Ethics of Non-interference," Working Papers 653, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    7. Giorgos Galanis & Roberto Veneziani, 2017. "Equality of When?," Working Papers 812, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    8. José Carlos R. Alcantud & María D. García-Sanz, 2013. "Evaluations of Infinite Utility Streams: Pareto Efficient and Egalitarian Axiomatics," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 432-447, July.
    9. Kaname Miyagishima, 2015. "A Characterization Of The Rawlsian Social Ordering Over Infinite Utility Streams," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 303-308, July.
    10. José Alcantud, 2013. "Liberal approaches to ranking infinite utility streams: when can we avoid interference?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 41(2), pages 381-396, July.
    11. Marco Mariotti & Roberto Veneziani, 2018. "Opportunities as Chances: Maximising the Probability that Everybody Succeeds," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(611), pages 1609-1633, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development

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