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

  • Nicola Acocella

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.

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Paper provided by University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics in its series Working Papers with number 52.

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Length: 27
Date of creation: Feb 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sap:wpaper:wp52
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  1. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocitys," IEW - Working Papers 040, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  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. Roemer, John E., 1985. "Equality of Talent," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 151-188, October.
  4. 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.
  5. Fleurbaey, Marc, 1995. "Equality and responsibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 683-689, April.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521593861 is not listed on IDEAS
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