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Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle

Author

Listed:
  • Michele Lombardi

    () (University of Glasgow)

  • Kahame Miyagishima

    () (Waseda University)

  • Roberto Veneziani

    () (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

Abstract

This paper analyses the implications of classical liberal and libertarian approaches for distributive justice in the context of social welfare orderings. An axiom capturing a liberal non-interfering view of society, named the Weak Harm Principle, is studied, whose roots can be traced back to John Stuart Mill s essay On Liberty. It is shown that liberal views of individual autonomy and freedom can provide consistent foundations for social welfare judgements, in both the finite and the infinite context. In particular, a liberal non-interfering approach can help to adjudicate some fundamental distributive issues relative to intergenerational justice. However, a surprisingly strong and general relation is established between liberal views of individual autonomy and non-interference, and egalitarian principles in the Rawlsian tradition. JEL Categories:

Suggested Citation

  • Michele Lombardi & Kahame Miyagishima & Roberto Veneziani, 2013. "Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2013-07, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2013-07
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. José Alcantud, 2013. "Liberal approaches to ranking infinite utility streams: when can we avoid interference?," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 41(2), pages 381-396, July.
    2. Michele Lombardi & Roberto Veneziani, 2009. "Liberal Egalitarianism and the Harm Principle," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-078, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    3. José Carlos R. Alcantud & María D. García-Sanz, 2013. "Evaluations of Infinite Utility Streams: Pareto Efficient and Egalitarian Axiomatics," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 432-447, July.
    4. Mariotti, Marco & Veneziani, Roberto, 2013. "On the impossibility of complete Non-Interference in Paretian social judgements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(4), pages 1689-1699.
    5. Marco, Mariotti & Roberto, Veneziani, 2012. "Opportunities as chances: maximising the probability that everybody succeeds," MPRA Paper 41884, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Mariotti, Marco & Veneziani, Roberto, 2014. "The Liberal Ethics of Non-Interference and the Pareto Principle," SIRE Discussion Papers 2014-016, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    7. repec:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:597:p:2173-2196 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development

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