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Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle

  • Michele Lombardi

    ()

    (University of Surrey)

  • Roberto Veneziani

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

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 [12]. 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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File URL: http://www.econ.qmul.ac.uk/papers/doc/wp649.pdf
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Paper provided by Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 649.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp649
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  1. Humberto Llavador & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2009. "Intergenerational justice when future worlds are uncertain," Economics Working Papers 1178, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jun 2010.
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  7. Michele Lombardi & Roberto Veneziani, 2009. "Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle," Working Papers 649, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  8. Luc Lauwers, 1996. "Rawlsian equity and generalised utilitarianism with an infinite population (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 143-150.
  9. Geir B. Asheim & Stéphane Zuber, 2011. "A Complete and Strongly Anonymous Leximin Relation on Infinite Streams," CESifo Working Paper Series 3578, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Humberto Llavador & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2008. "A Dynamic Analysis of Human Welfare in a Warming Planet," Working Papers 358, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  11. Luciano De Castro & Marialaura Pesce & Nicolas Yannelis, 2011. "Core and Equilibria under ambiguity," Discussion Papers 1534, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Marco Mariotti & Roberto Veneziani, 2012. "Opportunities as chances: maximising the probability that everybody succeeds," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2012-09, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  13. Asheim, Geir B. & Mitra, Tapan & Tungodden, Bertil, 2006. "Sustainable recursive social welfare functions," Memorandum 18/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
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  23. Asheim, Geir B. & d'Aspremont, Claude & Banerjee, Kuntal, 2010. "Generalized time-invariant overtaking," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 519-533, July.
  24. Kaushik Basu & Tapan Mitra, 2003. "Aggregating Infinite Utility Streams with InterGenerational Equity: The Impossibility of Being Paretian," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1557-1563, 09.
  25. 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.
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  37. repec:ecl:ucdeco:09-5 is not listed on IDEAS
  38. Tungodden, B., 1999. "Egalitarianism: Is Leximin the Only Option?," Papers 4/99, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  39. Geir B. Asheim & Kuntal Banerjee, 2009. "Fixed-step anonymous overtaking and catching-up," Working Papers 09001, Department of Economics, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University.
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  41. 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.
  42. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1982. "Social Aggregation Rules and Continuity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 337-52, May.
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