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Mr. Fairmind is Post-Welfarist: Opinions on Distributive Justice


  • Erik Schokkaert


I survey the results of empirical research, showing that the opinions about distributive justice of the population at large are in sharp conflict with the assumptions of tradi-tional welfare economics. I focus on the results concerning welfarism and concerning the Pigou-Dalton transfer criterion. At the same time, I show that recent developments in social choice theory are much more in line with the empirical results. This suggests that a better understanding of the complementarity between empirical and theoretical work might lead to a richer debate and to a greater awareness of the possible biases in the economic approach.

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  • Erik Schokkaert, 1998. "Mr. Fairmind is Post-Welfarist: Opinions on Distributive Justice," Working Papers Department of Economics ces9809, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces9809

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    1. Reece, William S & Zieschang, Kimberly D, 1985. "Consistent Estimation of the Impact of Tax Deductibility on the Level of Charitable Contributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 271-293, March.
    2. Jones, Andrew M & Posnett, John W, 1991. "The Impact of Tax Deductibility on Charitable Giving by Covenant in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1117-1129, September.
    3. Warr, Peter G., 1983. "The private provision of a public good is independent of the distribution of income," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 207-211.
    4. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    5. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
    6. Cornes, Richard & Sandler, Todd, 1984. "Easy Riders, Joint Production, and Public Goods," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(375), pages 580-598, September.
    7. Cornes, Richard & Sandler, Todd, 1994. "The comparative static properties of the impure public good model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 403-421, July.
    8. Smith, Vincent H. & Kehoe, Michael R. & Cremer, Mary E., 1995. "The private provision of public goods: Altruism and voluntary giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 107-126, September.
    9. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486.
    10. Schokkaert, Erik, 1982. "A general framework for the analysis of preference variation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 159-179.
    11. Stephen Long, 1976. "Social pressure and contributions to health charities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 55-66, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Corneo, Giacomo & Fong, Christina M., 2008. "What's the monetary value of distributive justice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 289-308, February.
    2. Erik Schokkaert & Kurt Devooght, 2003. "Responsibility-sensitive fair compensation in different cultures," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 21(2), pages 207-242, October.
    3. Gilles le Garrec, 2009. "Feeling guilty and redistributive politics," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2009-22, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    4. Gilles Le Garrec, 2011. "Redistribution and the cultural transmission of the taste for fairness," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-24, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).

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