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What we owe our children, they their children, and..


  • John Roemer

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)


Egalitarian theorists, since Rawls, have in the main advocated equalizing some objective standard of individual well-being, such as primary goods, functioning, or resources, rather than subjective welfare. This discussion, however, has assumed, implicitly, a static environment, with a single or perhaps a small number of generations. By studying the problem of equality of opportunity in a society that survives for many generations, we demonstrate that equality of opportunity for some objective condition of individuals is incompatible with a natural notion of human development over time. We argue that this incompatibility can be resolved by equalizing opportunities for welfare. Thus, â??subjectivismâ?? seems necessary if we are to hope for a society which can both equalize opportunities and support the development of human capacity over time.

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  • John Roemer, 2003. "What we owe our children, they their children, and..," Working Papers 999, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:99-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    2. Kevin Lang & David Kropp, 1986. "Human Capital Versus Sorting: The Effects of Compulsory Attendance Laws," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 609-624.
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