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Inequality, new directions: full ethical foundation and consequences

Abstract

Deriving comparisons and measures of inequality from full ethical foundations was a main innovation of the 1960s and pursuing it is still a most fruitful direction. This implies using “equal equivalents” and some principles particularly rich in meanings. Multidimensional inequalities can be measured and compared thanks to the “equal-equivalent manifolds”. The “equal-equivalent utility function” defines individual “welfare” cleaned of differences in sui generis individual tastes and hedonic capacities deemed irrelevant for “macrojustice”. Then, equal allocation is a deeper end-value than equal welfare but has to be complemented by free choice for freedom, Pareto efficiency and a demanded partial self-ownership. The result is the richly multi-meaning “equal-labour income equalization”.

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Correspondence to Serge-Christophe Kolm.

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Kolm, SC. Inequality, new directions: full ethical foundation and consequences. J Econ Inequal 9, 329–352 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10888-011-9182-3

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Keywords

  • Inequality
  • Justice
  • Freedom