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Theories of justice: socialconditioning and personal responsibility in roemers's contribution

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  • Nicola Acocella

Abstract

We deal with a question that is central in a theory of justice, that of social conditioning and personal responsibility. Roemer’s attempt to separate the latter from the former, in order to circumscribe redistributive public policy, is of the utmost interest but has significant limitations. One such limitation has to do with the way in which assessment of personal responsibility can take place, which is empirical and uncertain and is thus open to errors with unacceptable consequences. A second limitation of Roemer’s analysis regards the fact that he does not consider the question of the ‘environment’ in which personal responsibility develops, and the incentives arising from the basic architecture of society. In addition, not only self-responsibility but also social responsibility, i.e., responsibility towards other people, should be taken into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicola Acocella, 2002. "Theories of justice: socialconditioning and personal responsibility in roemers's contribution," Working Papers 52, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sap:wpaper:wp52
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gächter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
    2. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
    3. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Roemer, John E., 1985. "Equality of Talent," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 151-188, October.
    5. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
    6. Fleurbaey, Marc, 1995. "Equality and responsibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 683-689, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    theories of justice; social conditioning; personal responsibility; welfare state.;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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