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Since Aristotle, many different theories of distributive justice have been proposed, by philosophers as well as social scientists. The typical approach within social choice theory is to assess these theories in an axiomatic way – most of the time the reader is confronted with abstract reasoning and logical deductions. This book shows that empirical insights are necessary if one wants to apply any theory of justice in the real world. It does so by confronting the main theories of distributive justice with data from (mostly) questionnaire experiments. The book starts with an extensive discussion on why empirical social choice makes sense and how it should be done. It then presents various experimental results relating to theories of distributive justice, including the Rawlsian equity axiom, Harsanyi's version of utilitarianism, utilitarianism with a floor, responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism, the claims problem and fairness in health.Read more
- The first self-contained analysis in the social choice literature of the use of questionnaire data to test theories of distributive justice
- Largely non-mathematical treatment that is accessible for scholars outside economics such as sociologists, political scientists and philosophers
- All questionnaire experiments are presented and discussed in such a way that the reader does not have to go to the original source
Reviews & endorsements
"The book is well-written and accessible, making it suitable for a large number of readers. Graduate students will find the book an ideal starting point for theses on the subject, and parts of the book may be used to introduce undergraduate students to the subtleties of normative theories since they will be stimulated by how people like themselves perceive the concepts."
Social Choice and Welfare
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- Date Published: April 2012
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107013940
- length: 228 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 155 x 15 mm
- weight: 0.5kg
- contains: 6 b/w illus. 51 tables
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of tables
2. Why and how?
3. Traditional questions
5. Fairness in health
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