Download e-book Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare

Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. You can download and read online Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare file PDF Book only if you are registered here. And also you can download or read online all Book PDF file that related with Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare book. Happy reading Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare Bookeveryone. Download file Free Book PDF Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare at Complete PDF Library. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. Here is The CompletePDF Book Library. It's free to register here to get Book file PDF Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare Pocket Guide.

The concepts developed here will touch upon many classic and recent issues of welfare economics and political philosophy, and there are cases in which bringing the question of responsibility to the fore helps to understand and settle certain puzzles which were not transparently connected to it. A flavor of the themes of this book and a hint at their relevance to well-known pending issues can be given by looking at a few examples of the problems addressed here.

Let us first pick a few problems from economics, and then a few from philosophy. Responsibility and economics Income redistribution. An important topic in public economics is the redistribution of income through taxation. The theory of optimal taxation6 has conspicuously focused on cases when the population has exactly the same tastes for consumption and leisure and is heterogeneous only in the dimension of skills that determine unequal market wages. A main topic of study has been the relation between the degree of inequality aversion of the government and the formula of the tax schedule.

The assumption of identical tastes is relaxed mostly in studies which confine themselves to the study of efficiency considerations. The Mirrlees is the seminal reference. For more recent sources, see in particular Atkinson and Boadway and Keen One is the difficulty of studying incentive constraints when economic agents are heterogeneous in several dimensions. The mere determination of the set of feasible allocations becomes somewhat nightmarish in what are called "multidimensional screening" problems.

Social welfare functions can be more easily parameterized when all individuals have the same preferences which can be represented by a unique utility function. With heterogeneous preferences, the problem of choosing different utility functions representing those preferences is much trickier and welfare economics is traditionally quite embarrassed with defining a precise social welfare function in this case.

Moreover, there is a normative asymmetry between tastes and skills. Presumably, income inequalities coming from taste differences should not be viewed in the same fashion as inequalities due to skill differences. As already argued above, choice of working hours should be left free, and therefore it does not call for the same distributive concern as unequal earning potential. Conversely, the taste for leisure is partly linked to the menu of jobs to which agents have access in view of their qualifications, and it is no wonder that, for similar wage rates, people tend to volunteer less for overtime work in dangerous and unpleasant jobs than in pleasant jobs.

In this book these issues will be addressed and it will be shown how taste heterogeneity can be incorporated into a social objective under various assumptions about personal responsibility for tastes, labor quantity and skill level. It will also be examined how such social objectives can be used for concrete policy evaluation.

No-envy and unequal skills. The conjunction of unequal skills and different preferences over leisure and consumption has also been an early source of concern in the theory of fair allocation, which has emerged independently of the main stream of public economics. An allocation is envy-free when no agent prefers another's bundle of consumption and leisure to his own. Pazner and Schmeidler noted that, in a production economy where hardworking unskilled agents coexist with lazy talented agents, it may be impossible to find an envy-free and Pareto-efficient allocation, because efficiency requires the talented to work more, but then, out of laziness, they envy the unskilled if 7 A synthetic analysis is made by Rochet and Stole Boadway et al.

They examine the span of possible weights for different utility functions. The analysis presented in this book can be viewed as offering a way to obtain more precise social criteria and therefore more precise policy conclusions. The seminal reference is Kolm A recent survey can be found in Moulin and Thomson The literature10 then focused on two special allocations that retain some flavor of the no-envy criterion. One, called the "wealth-fair" solution, consists in applying the no-envy test not to consumption and leisure but to consumption and earnings.

The policy that distributes unearned income equally and lets people retain their earnings satisfies this criterion, by giving exactly the same opportunities for consumption and earnings to everybody. This is clearly unsatisfactory, as it does not perform any correction of inequalities due to skills. The other, called the "full-income-fair" solution, equalizes the maximum potential income that agents can have by working maximum time.

The idea of adding the value of leisure to ordinary income in order to compute full income is widespread in applied works on the measurement of living standards. As noted by Dworkin b , equality of full incomes entails a "slavery of the talented" since the skilled agents then have a smaller budget set than the unskilled, and will typically be forced to work in order to pay their taxes.

In this book we will study a variety of alternative solutions which are preferable to these two, and also more faithful to the original no-envy test.

Similar books and articles

While tastes and preferences are given a prominent role, needs are almost absent from welfare economics. This leads analysts to puzzling conclusions in some cases. Champsaur and Laroque study allocations that are envy-free and Pareto-efficient in large exchange economies i. They show that when the diverse preferences of the population are sufficiently connected roughly, this means that one can put agents on a line such that any pair of neighbors have almost the same preferences , then all envy-free and Pareto-efficient allocations give the same income to all agents.

In their interpretation, this precludes giving additional income to a disabled person unless his preferences are disconnected from the rest of the population, such as paralytics who are the only persons to desire wheel-chairs. In order to reach such a conclusion, one must consider that individual characteristics of tastes and needs are lumped together in effective "preferences" and cannot be disentangled.

Subscriber Login

We will see in this book how identifying a need parameter in people's preferences can yield different conclusions, since even a disabled person who has the same market demand as another person can receive a special income allowance if the need parameter can be observed. A variant of the noenvy criterion can still be useful for the calibration of this allowance, as we will see. Another example is provided by Yaari and Bar-Hillel's questionnaire survey of opinions about distributive justice.

They observe a striking difference in the pattern of answers when respondents are confronted with a distribution of fruits to individuals with different metabolism for the assimilation of vitamins from different fruits and when they are confronted with a distribution of fruits to individuals with different willingness to pay for various fruits, reflecting taste differences.

In the former case, the respondents try to achieve equality of 10 11 In particular Varian , See, e. This paper is famous for questioning the welfarist approach to distributive justice and for suggesting that there is no single acceptable social criterion that is valid in all contexts. But the approach set out in this book gives us a simple explanation for this pattern of answers. If one considers that people are responsible for their tastes, or in other words, free to choose according to their tastes, whereas they are not held responsible for their metabolism, then a single social criterion can espouse our intuitions in the two contexts.

For instance, consider the criterion that seeks equality of the hypothetical well-being that each individual would achieve if the characteristics for which he is responsible were at the average value. This criterion will play an important role in this book. When individuals differ only in their metabolism for which they are not responsible , this criterion seeks equality of achieved well-being.

When they differ in their willingness-to-pay and are responsible for it, then equality of incomes in a competitive auction is fine, since every individual would then achieve the same level of well-being if he had the average preferences. Following Sen's insistence on the importance of freedom, an important literature has emerged that studies the measurement of individual freedom on the one hand, and the distribution of opportunities on the other hand, in two related branches. Much of this literature firmly rejects welfarism and is attracted toward evaluating and comparing opportunity sets in terms of the number of options or the volume of the sets.

A lot of it adopts an abstract framework which does not lend itself easily to applications.

American Economic Association

The approach adopted in this book deliberately focuses on economic models which are more directly relevant to application issues. In particular, we will see how the value of an opportunity set can be assessed when there is sufficient information about how this set contributes to people's well-being in various precise circumstances. In the literature on the measurement of individual freedom, there is some work that examines how the value of a menu can be assessed from the point of view of a list of potential preferences that an individual could have.

Although the question will be approached here from a different angle, this book will propose various ways of measuring the value of opportunity sets in concrete settings, which will be directly connected to the idea of referring to hypothetical preferences. Surveys of this literature can be found in Peragine , Barber a, Bossert and Pattanaik Reward and desert. Two very influential definitions of equality of opportunity are the following: We should Cohen , p. Distributive justice does not recommend any intervention by society to correct inequalities that arise through the voluntary choice or fault of those who end up with less, so long as it is proper to hold the individuals responsible for the voluntary choice or faulty behavior that gives rise to the inequalities.

Arneson a, p. What has been less closely examined by philosophers is the negative formulation they are based upon. These sentences do not simply say that unfair inequalities, i. They say that redistribution should stop at the border of individual responsibility. This is at least the clear meaning of Cohen's sentence.

  • New Research Project: «Fairness, personal responsibility and the welfare state»!
  • See a Problem?.
  • Most searched-for services ...!
  • Great Scot: The James Scotland Symon Story.
  • Download options;
  • Poetry for the Homeless?
  • Marc Fleurbaey, Fairness, responsibility, and welfare?

Arneson's is more ambiguous, and a grammatically correct interpretation of it would be that distributive justice does not say anything about inequalities arising from responsible choice. But this cautious interpretation is not the most natural one. As it will be explained at length in the first chapters of this book, a contribution of economic analysis to this issue has been to disentangle the two separate ethical principles contained in such sentences.

There is total logical independence and even substantial tension between the "compensation" principle saying that inequalities not due to responsibility should be eliminated and the particular "reward" principle saying that inequalities due to responsibility should be left untouched. As we will see, the compensation principle can be combined with a variety of alternative reward principles.

The philosophical literature has remained vague on this issue, except in relation to the danger of a laissez-faire policy that could leave an individual in dire straits whenever his situation can be traced to his responsible choice. Arneson, considering this problem, has adopted a modified version of responsibilitysensitive egalitarianism in which social priorities would take account of desert and responsibility but might still monitor the achieved level of welfare in order to avoid disproportionate penalties for those who poorly exercise their responsibility.

The compensation principle itself has been the topic of other controversies which will be also scrutinized here, such as Hurley's alleged 14 See in particular Arneson a, a. Brute luck and option luck. Examples of disproportionate penalty typically involve risky behavior, such as a motorbiker who has an accident without wearing a helmet.

Such examples evoke Dworkin's famous distinction between "brute luck" for which individuals are not responsible and "option luck" for which they are, because they have voluntarily submitted to a particular risk. This distinction has been criticized as hard to define in precise terms, and may be flawed. Is that a matter of option luck, because they had the option not to collect the tickets?

That is a strange conclusion, since collecting the tickets was obviously the rational thing to do in this case. Dworkin readily acknowledged that the distinction is fuzzy in practice, but we will examine the theoretical underpinnings of such a distinction. A priori, it does not make much sense to attribute responsibility to individuals for random events over which they have no control whatsoever, so the notion of option luck is, at a basic level, quite suspect. But we will see that, nonetheless, it is possible to make sense of standard uses of this notion by reference to a particular social criterion that will be studied in this book.

Hypothetical insurance. Dworkin's version of responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism gives an important role to the no-envy criterion introduced above. Instead of applying this criterion simply to ordinary consumption, Dworkin b applies it to extended resources, i. This is clever because it naturally pushes in the direction of compensation of inequalities of internal resources by counteracting transfers in external resources.

The problem well identified by Dworkin is that an envy-free allocation fails to exist in general because individuals who disagree about the value of their internal resources may have envy in one direction or the other for all possible levels of transfers. Think for instance of a painter who would like to have musical talents and a musician who regrets not having painting talents. They will tend to envy each other, and any transfer between them will increase the envy of the donor.

The solution Dworkin proposes for this puzzle is to apply the no-envy test in a hypothetical insurance market in which individuals could, behind a veil of ignorance, insure against bad lots of internal resources. The no-envy test is then simply satisfied by giving them equal endowments to buy insurance in this market. The problem with this solution is that it radically alters the nature of the solution. In particular, in cases when an envy-free allocation was feasible in the simple application of the no-envy test to extended resources, the result of the hypothetical insurance can be very different.

See Roemer , a , Fleurbaey Dworkin's solution, therefore, is not a clever adaptation of his initial idea, but a radical move that betrays his own initial vision. In this book we will see how, from the same starting point, a different direction could have been taken that is more faithful to the initial idea, and indeed yields more intuitively appealing solutions e.

The solution is not to apply the no-envy test to a radically different setting such as insurance behind a veil of ignorance, but to weaken the requirements of the no-envy test so as to find feasible criteria. It turns out that this logical analysis of the no-envy criterion is closely connected to the analysis of compensation and reward principles introduced in the previous point. We will also analyze why the hypothetical insurance mechanism is not acceptable for responsibility-sensitive egalitarians, not only because of its strange consequences mentioned above, but also because of its basic underpinnings.

The indexing dilemma. Some responsibility-sensitive egalitarian theories, such as Rawls', Cohen's and Sen's, advocate measuring advantage in at least partly objective terms. Rawls' notion of "primary goods" makes his the most objectivist of these approaches, and it has been attacked17 as being trapped in a dilemma that also affects the other theories.

In all these theories, an index must aggregate the various dimensions of advantage for each individual, so that individuals can be compared, in particular in order to determine who are the worst-off. If the index espouses people's preferences, then, it is alleged, it is an index of utility and the approach falls back into welfarism. Moreover, this solution seems to blur the Rawlsian distinction between resources for which individuals are not responsible and subjective ambitions and goals for which, as autonomous moral agents, they are. The alternative horn of the dilemma is to impose a uniform index to all individuals, independently of their own preferences, but this index necessarily involves a special view on the relative importance of the various dimensions of advantage, and this seems akin to imposing a perfectionist view of the good.

This is another position which these theories definitely want to avoid. Here we will show that this dilemma has been greatly exaggerated, and that it is possible to combine respect for individual preferences with a substantial degree of non-welfarism and of personal responsibility for one's preferences.

A Theory of Fairness and Social Welfare

There are many other topics from the philosophical literature that will be touched upon here. For instance, Van Parijs' undominated diversity criterion will be critically examined, refined, and compared to other criteria. His plea for the highest possible basic income will receive support, although from a somewhat different line of thought. The role of desert in Roemer's and Arneson's a theories will also be discussed. In7 particular by Arrow , Kolm , Arneson b. Remaining agnostic on the reward principle is not a possibility, if only because this would condemn responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism to impotence on many practical issues, since the choice of particular policies will often necessarily embody special responses to this problem.

In fact, the concept of responsibility itself suggests one or maybe two plausible reward principles. One is the "liberal" reward principle, according to which no further redistribution should be performed beyond what is required by the compensation principle. The quotations of Arneson and Cohen above were clearly in this vein.

This may be called liberal because the absence of intervention may be viewed as a hallmark of neutrality toward different ways of exercising responsibility. One can also connect this reward principle to libertarianism, in particular because it implies that laissez-faire is the best policy in absence of market failures in the hypothetical situation in which all individuals enjoy equal circumstances and are fully responsible for their differences. As a result, responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism then appears as a middle way between outcome egalitarianism and libertarianism.

This approach is more or less explicitly suggested by most of the philosophical literature. It is based on the idea that insofar as individuals are responsible for their differences, the social criterion may have no aversion to inequality, which, for traditional social welfare functions, means that one can simply maximize the sum total of individual well-being levels, as in the so-called "utilitarian" social welfare function.

This alternative reward principle then legitimizes redistribution above and beyond what is required by the compensation principle in order to enhance the total outcome of individuals similarly situated with respect to circumstances. We will call this the "utilitarian" reward principle, by reference to its focus on the sum of well-beings. In one direction of research, Roemer and Van de gaer20 have proposed combinations of the maximin and the utilitarian social welfare functions with the idea that a high aversion to inequality can be applied along the dimension of circumstances whereas a zero aversion to inequality is acceptable along the dimension of responsibility.

This line of analysis An exception is Voorhoeve Arneson's a, a recent views are also heading toward a more complex scheme, which will be discussed later in the book. Fleurbaey and Maniquet have studied the case in which individuals work with unequal productivity and may have different preferences about consumption and leisure. The two approaches are perhaps acceptable in different contexts, but if it is the case, it is urgent to determine which contexts are appropriate for each approach.

A central message of this book is that this divide, which seems to have gone largely unnoticed in the philosophical literature, should attract much more attention. In the early developments of the economic literature on equal opportunities, an important difference between the two branches, in addition to the difference in reward principles, was the following. The social welfare functions proposed by the utilitarian branch made it possible to rank all allocations in any context, so that they could be used in the evaluation of any kind of social policy.

This is what is called the first-best context, as opposed to the second-best context in which lack of information about individuals makes it harder for the authorities to redistribute appropriately. None of the initial publications makes a case for adopting a particular reward principle as opposed to the other. See in particular Fleurbaey and Maniquet , As an example of second-best context, think of income tax, when the government cannot distinguish between a high-skilled individual who works part time and a low-skilled individual working full time, when their total earnings are equal.

As a result, we now have a variety of operational social criteria, for each of the two branches and for any context of application. It makes it possible to compare the implications of the various relevant ethical principles with substantial precision. Outline of the book The book starts by examining the simple context in which there is a well-defined process determining individual well-being as a function of personal characteristics and money.

These characteristics are fixed and are separated into circumstances for which individuals are not responsible and responsibility characteristics. Redistribution operates through transfers of money. This very simple framework is quite useful in order to analyze the basic structure of solutions in a simple way, and many of the concepts and qualitative results obtained with it carry over to the more complex settings studied in the sequel. It is the topic of the first two chapters.

Among the complexities introduced later on, from Chapter 3 to 5, are incentive issues, arising when imperfect information about individual characteristics and choices constrains redistributive policies, and multidimensional redistribution involving several goods, as in certain forms of in-kind transfers. The link between incentives and responsibility is quite interesting to analyze because, as one may guess, incentive constraints typically force public policies, to some extent, to let individual agents bear the consequences of their choices, which is akin to implementing liberal responsibility principles.

Indeed, incentive effects obviously matter in the influence of taxation over the labor supply, and the presence of labor and consumption make for a multidimensional set of external resources, even though labor is not as directly transferable as money. This particular setting is given a rather detailed scrutiny in Chapters 4 and 5, due to its practical importance and central place in redistributive policies.

Income redistribution is also a key topic in public economics, and incorporating fairness notions in the definition of social objectives makes it possible to obtain more precise conclusions about optimal policies than with general unspecified social welfare functions. Chapter 6 is devoted to the difficult context of risky behavior.

Individuals are typically not responsible for being lucky or unlucky, but they may expose themselves to various degrees of risk, and it is not a simple matter to determine 28 In particular in Bossert et al. Interesting opinion polls about the principles of responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism are analyzed in Schokkaert and Devooght , See also Gaertner and Schwettmann Dworkin has proposed a famous but contentious distinction between brute luck for which individuals are not responsible and option luck for which they are , and this chapter examines whether one can make sense of it.

It turns out that the concepts developed in the first chapters are quite useful for shedding light on this issue. Chapter 7 examines a particular variant of the incentive problem that has to do with the possibility for individuals to regret their past decisions and to request help in order to alleviate their regret.

In a hard-hearted version of responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism their plight does not call for any particular concern, but it can be argued that individuals who change their mind need not bear the consequences of their past decisions for all their lives. This chapter studies the normative reasons for policies giving special help, a "fresh start," to such regretful people, and the practical possibilities and constraints due to the possibility for them to misrepresent their preferences and to express feigned regret just in order to be eligible for help.

These first chapters focus on the liberal approach to reward, which is closer to the commonsense understanding of the distributive implications of responsibility and also closer to philosophical formulations of the ideal of equality of resources or opportunities. The utilitarian approach to reward, epitomized in social welfare functions combining the maximin and the sum criteria such as Roemer's function, is the topic of Chapter 8.

A description of the various options available in this approach and of the underlying ethical issues is followed by a comparison with the solutions put forth by the liberal approach. The criteria studied in all these chapters take a global perspective on social evaluation, but one is sometimes interested in a partial aspect of distributions, such as the degree of inequality of opportunities, for instance , or the degree of social mobility from one generation to another.

Such notions are examined in Chapter 9, with a variety of approaches and indices being scrutinized. As this outline makes clear, the bulk of the book is about analyses coming from economics, and a central goal here is to make this material available in a synthetic, convenient way for economists, and in an accessible form to philosophers as well. The hope is in particular that some insights obtained in economic analysis may be helpful to the formulation of philosophical theories of justice and may even provide new concepts and additional topics for philosophical questioning.

Meanwhile, in the direction of economists, the hope is also to make the recent theories of justice and the notion of responsibility more familiar and more easily applicable in the discussion of public policies. The first chapters of the book mostly take for granted that there is a certain given definition of the sphere of personal responsibility, and work out the implications of this separation between "responsibility" and "circumstances.

Some discussions on the philosophical issue of defining the scope of personal responsibility appear in various chapters, especially Chapters 3, 6 and 7, but a complete examination of this issue is postponed to the last chapter. It also examines how the value of freedom is connected to personal responsibility.

It proposes a variant of responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism dubbed "equality of autonomy" which accommodates responsibility and freedom concerns in a different way from opportunity theories, and, building on the concepts developed in the first chapters, suggests how to construct a criterion for interpersonal comparisons and the evaluation of social situations. A reader's guide Making material that contains formal analysis accessible to a wide readership is always a challenge, and the method adopted in this book is similar to the widely celebrated separation of formal and non-formal chapters in Sen The separation is made here in sections.

Formalism is not totally absent from the non-formal sections, due to the need of enough structure for the presentation of some concepts, but a special effort has been made to keep it to the minimum necessary. The separation of formal sections from the main text entails some repetitions for the mathematically oriented reader, who will find the general explanations and motivations separated from the formal definitions and results. But hopefully the disruption is limited, and the proximity of formal sections to their non-formal counterparts makes this acceptable.

In the formal and non-formal parts alike, the text introduces conditions axioms that embody the various fairness principles studied in this book. By searching their name e. The set of real resp. An ordering is a binary relation that is reflexive and transitive. Chapter 1 Defining fairness 1. It starts with a simple example in which a "natural" solution offers itself as almost self-evident, but will show that this solution actually involves two different ethical principles.

One is the compensation principle, and the other is the liberal reward principle. These two principles are not precise distributive requirements; as will be discussed, they are embodied in a variety of specific conditions which are in some ways interrelated but in other ways quite different. The chapter discusses the foundations of such principles and conditions as well as the logical links between the conditions in a simple framework. It also extends the analysis to more general situations in which no natural solution is immediately apparent.

The framework of analysis for this chapter and the next is the simplest context possible. In this special context it is assumed that individuals have personal characteristics which are fixed and that a clear distinction separates characteristics for which they are responsible and characteristics for which they are not responsible.

The assumption that characteristics are fixed is made so that no incentive issue arises in relation to a possible influence of redistribution over personal characteristics this topic will be dealt with in a later chapter. As far as the separation of responsibility characteristics from other characteristics is concerned, its basis need not be elucidated here. It may be a separation between internal resources and preferences, as in Dworkin's view, or between circumstantial and controlled characteristics, as in Arneson and Cohen's definition of responsibility.

We will focus here not on this problem, which will be addressed at the end of the book, but on the distributive consequences of attributing responsibility to individuals for some of their personal traits. It is useful at this point to fix some terminology. The characteristics for which individual are responsible will generally be called "responsibility characteristics," while those for which they are not responsible will generally be called "circumstances. A second simplifying feature of the context under consideration here is that individuals' achievements are measured by a one-dimensional index of wellbeing, so that there is no problem in comparing and ranking them.

This particular simplification will be retained throughout the bulk of the book, although it will soon appear that it plays little role in the construction of social criteria pertaining to the liberal approach to responsibility and reward. In the last chapter this issue will be examined in more detail. A third simplifying feature is that we assume here that individual well-being is fully determined by personal characteristics coming in the two categories mentioned above and by a one-dimensional external transfer of a resource called "money.

It is nonetheless a useful simplification because it removes any complication arising from individual heterogeneous preferences over external resources, and makes Pareto efficiency an easy matter. The case of multidimensional resources is tackled later on. Satiation phenomena, due for instance to the emollient effects of affluence, will also be briefly examined in another chapter.

A fourth simplifying feature is that money is available in a given quantity that the government can distribute at will. It is not a cake the size of which depends on the incentive effects of redistribution, as in the context of production studied in Chapters 4 and 5. A fifth and last but not least simplification comes from the assumption that we are in a "first-best" context, i. This seems a very unrealistic assumption and it will be relaxed later on. The usefulness of this assumption comes from the fact that, first, there are special contexts in which this assumption is satisfied or almost so, and above all, the notions developed in this special setting are quite useful to study more complex cases and can be extended without much difficulty.

In some cases '-Philosophers, who typically take account of incentive issues even when they talk about "ideal" theory Rawls , p. Hopefully this book will make them more familiar with the standard economic methodology which has been quite successful in producing a good understanding of redistributive issues. When Xj As w is increasing in x,, all allocations in -F e are Pareto efficient. This considerably simplifies the analysis. This model is very similar to the model of allocation of indivisible goods, in which y is a transferable but indivisible resource and x is a transferable and divisible good.

The set S e is the subset of allocations selected by S. This chapter and the next one will focus on allocation rules, but starting in Chapter 3 we will also be interested in social ordering functions. Two special cases will be of particular interest. The distribution case is relevant to situations in which the government has a fixed budget that can be used in order to provide targeted help to particular 2 See Svensson , Alkan et al. Another related model, studied by Moreno-Ternero and Roemer , is the particular case with y only and no z, in which the responsibility issue vanishes.

We will not study this variant. The TU case is especially relevant to situations in which individual well-being is itself monetary. For instance, think of the idea of equalizing opportunities for income, in a case when individual labor supply is totally inelastic. Or, relatedly, think of equalizing opportunities for utility when utility depends only on disposable income and not on leisure, and when individuals are deemed responsible for their utility function so that the public policy disregards utilities out of neutrality toward utility functions and focuses on disposable income.

But the most realistic applications of the TU case are offered by the federalism problem of organizing budget transfers between administrative units local governments, sectorial administrations, social security agencies, etc. For instance, they may be responsible for their management performance or their policy but not for the tax base in their jurisdiction or the demographic characteristics of the population they take care of.

Example 1. The degree of dedication is a personal trait that makes individuals use the quantity of money at their disposal in a more or less profitable way, in terms of well-being. Now, money is received from two sources. At the beginning of their adult lives, individuals receive a personal bequest coming from their family and at the same time are submitted to a transfer tax or grant.

The combination of these two operations determines their disposable wealth, and they then pursue their life plans and obtain a certain level of well-being. Journal of the European Economic Association pp. Social Choice and Welfare pp. Cappelen : Rettferdig ulikhet pp. List of research projects. Share Facebook Twitter LinkedIn.

Details Project number Main applicant Prof. Copyright , NWO. Respond to this page. The Dutch Research Council NWO funds top researchers, steers the course of Dutch science by means of research programmes and by managing the national knowledge infrastructure. NWO uses Google Analytics fully anonymised. Cookies are used to facilitate this. News Calendar Events Social media Newsletter. The proposed research project provides new knowledge about how the welfare states can meet these challenges and how concerns for personal responsibility can be integrated in the design of welfare schemes in a way that is perceived as fair.

Four research teams from Norway, the Netherlands, and Austria, will take a cross-disciplinary perspective on fairness and use an innovative combination of methods, including administrative register data, surveys, as well as field and laboratory experiments. This project is part of a major transnational research programme on the topic of Welfare State Futures. This highly topical programme makes use of a variety of approaches, enables and encourages multi-disciplinarity and offers a fruitful basis for developing of a European perspective on the futures of the welfare state.

Toggle navigation.