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Comparing Fairness
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Comparing Fairness

Relative Criteria of Economic Fairness with Applications

9781839108013 Edward Elgar Publishing
Roger A. McCain, Professor, School of Economics, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University, US
Publication Date: 2021 ISBN: 978 1 83910 801 3 Extent: 240 pp
Economic theory and philosophy have discussed concepts of fairness, but the criteria of fairness are in each case absolute: a situation is either fair or it is not. This book draws on these literatures to propose two criteria of relative fairness, and a hierarchical rule for the priority of application of these criteria, with a view to comparison of practicable alternatives in public policy.

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Contents
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Economic theory and philosophy have discussed concepts of fairness, but the criteria of fairness are in each case absolute: a situation is either fair or it is not. This book draws on these literatures to propose two criteria of relative fairness, and a hierarchical rule for the priority of application of these criteria, with a view to comparison of practicable alternatives in public policy.

A veil-of-ignorance device of representation of rational fairness is used to argue that these criteria are normatively relevant. Applications to intergenerational fairness, fairness among regions in the context of migration, externalities and Pigovian taxes, to fair prices and wages, and to relative fairness in the status of racial and caste groups are sketched. The book is designed with real world public policy practice.

Scholars with an interest in the economic evaluation of public policy will find this compelling book essential reading.
Critical Acclaim
‘Roger McCain’s new book develops an original analysis of relative fairness or “quasifairness” to compare stable social situations as objects of public policy. Employing bounded rationality, Rawls, and a game-theoretic understanding of social stability, the book’s applications are far-reaching and penetrating. Strongly recommended as a new strategy for re-grounding normative economics.’
– John B. Davis, Marquette University, US and University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Contents
Contents: 1. Fairness in a system of cooperative, joint production 2. Decision, cooperation and stability 3. Side payments in effectivity analysis of cooperative games 4. Efficiency and fairness 5. The veil of ignorance 6. Intergenerational transfers 7. Intergenerational transfers: some complications 8. Interregional fairness, migration and efficiency 9. Policy, externality, gilets jaunes and interregional fairness 10. Fairness from the perspective of an individual or group 11. Fair wages and prices 12. Fairness from the perspective of a caste or race 13. Concluding summary Index
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