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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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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces9809.

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Date of creation: Apr 1998
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces9809
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