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  • 1.
    Almås, Ingvild
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies. Norwegian School of Economics, Norway.
    Cappelen, Alexander W.
    Salvanes, Kjell G.
    Sørensen, Erik Ø.
    Tungodden, Bertil
    Fairness and family background2017In: Politics, Philosophy and Economics, ISSN 1470-594X, E-ISSN 1741-3060, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 117-131Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Fairness preferences fundamentally affect individual behavior and play an important role in shaping social and political institutions. However, people differ both with respect to what they view as fair and with respect to how much weight they attach to fairness considerations. In this article, we study the role of family background in explaining these heterogeneities in fairness preferences. In particular, we examine how socioeconomic background relates to fairness views and to how people make trade-offs between fairness and self-interest. To study this, we conducted an economic experiment with a representative sample of 14- to 15-year-old and matched the experimental data to administrative data on parental income and education. The participants made two distributive choices in the experiment. The first choice was to distribute money between themselves and another participant in a situation where there was no difference in merit. The second choice was to distribute money between two other participants with unequal merits. Our main finding is that there is a systematic difference in fairness view between children from low-socioceconomic status (SES) families and the rest of the participants; more than 50 percent of the participants from low-SES families are egalitarians, whereas only about 20 percent in the rest of the sample hold this fairness view. In contrast, we find no significant difference in the weight attached to fairness between children from different socioeconomic groups.

  • 2.
    Birnbaum, Simon
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Should surfers be ostracized?: Basic income, liberal neutrality, and the work ethos2011In: Politics, Philosophy and Economics, ISSN 1470-594X, E-ISSN 1741-3060, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 396-419Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Neutralists have argued that there is something illiberal about linking access to gift-like resources to work requirements.  The central liberal motivation for basic income is to provide greater freedom to choose between different ways of life, including  options attaching great importance to non-market activities and disposable time. As argued by Philippe Van Parijs, even those  spending their days surfing should be fed. This article examines Van Parijs' dual commitment to a ‘real libertarian’ justification of basic income and the public enforcement of a strong work ethos, which serves to boost the volume of work at a given rate of taxation. It is argued (contra Van Parijs) that this alliance faces the neutrality objection: the work ethos will largely offset the liberal gains of unconditionality by radically restricting the set of permissible options available. A relaxed, non-obligatory ethos might avoid this implication. This view, however, is vulnerable to the structural exploitation objection: feasibility is achieved only because some choose to do necessary tasks to which most people have the same aversion. In light of these objections, the article examines whether there is a morally untainted feasibility path consistent with liberal objectives.                 

  • 3.
    Reitberger, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Poverty, Negative Duties, and the Global Institutional Order2008In: Politics, Philosophy and Economics, ISSN 1470-594X, E-ISSN 1741-3060, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 379-402Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Do we violate human rights when we cooperate with and impose a globalinstitutional order that engenders extreme poverty? Thomas Pogge argues thatby shaping and enforcing the social conditions that foreseeably and avoidablycause global poverty we are violating the negative duty not to cooperate in theimposition of a coercive institutional order that avoidably leaves human rightsunfulfilled. This article argues that Pogge’s argument fails to distinguishbetween harms caused by the global institutions themselves and harms causedby the domestic policies of particular states and collective action problems forwhich collective responsibility cannot be assigned. The article also argues thathis position relies on questionable factual and theoretical claims about theimpact of global institutions on poverty, and about the benefits and harms ofcertain features of these institutions. Participation in, and benefit from, globalinstitutions is unlikely to constitute a violation of our negative duties towardsthe poor.

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