The Need Principle of Distributive Justice

  • Thomas Schwinger
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


This chapter will present some theoretical deliberations and conclusions from empirical research about the need principle of distributive justice (“to each according to his or her needs”). In a review of theoretical and empirical research it is shown that the need principle has been conceptualized traditionally as a variant of the contribution principle. A theoretical approach of prototypic interpersonal relationships with their specific principles of resource transaction will be presented. In this approach the need principle is conceptualized as an independent form of distributive justice. Results of various questionnaire studies will be presented showing that subjects use such a concept.


Interpersonal Relationship Distributive Justice Social Exchange Equality Principle Resource Type 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Schwinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychologisches Institut IVUniversität MünsterMünsterWest Germany

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