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Enough and as Good: a Formal Model of Lockean First Appropriation


  • Brian Kogelmann
  • Benjamin Ogden


In developing a theory of the first appropriation of natural resources from the state of nature John Locke tells us that persons must leave enough and as good for others. Detailing exactly what this restriction requires divides right and left libertarians.Briefly, right libertarians interpret enough and as good as requiring no or very minimal restrictions on the first appropriation of natural resources, whereas left libertarians interpret enough and as good as requiring everyone be entitled to an equal share of unappropriated resources, able to claim no more beyond this equal share. This paper approaches the right versus left libertarian debate by developing a formal model that examines the welfare properties of different interpretations of the Lockean proviso. The model shows that underlying philosophical justifications for left libertarianism, when plausible assumptions hold, will be better served by a right libertarian proviso rather than a left libertarian one.

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  • Brian Kogelmann & Benjamin Ogden, 2017. "Enough and as Good: a Formal Model of Lockean First Appropriation," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-13, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/249914

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Moller, Dan, 2017. "Property And The Creation Of Value," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(01), pages 1-23, March.
    2. Moehler, Michael, 2009. "Why Hobbes' State of Nature is Best Modeled by an Assurance Game," Utilitas, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(03), pages 297-326, September.
    3. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    4. Vanderschraaf, Peter, 2006. "War Or Peace?: A Dynamical Analysis Of Anarchy," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 243-279, July.
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