Synopses & Reviews
This book contains a selection of papers which were presented at a conference on "Distributive Justice and Inequality" at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin. Topics covered range from concepts of equity, optimal population policies and axiomatic characterizations of inequality measures and poverty orderings to distributional implications of taxation rules and game-theoretical analyses. This collection of papers is unique in that the issue of distributive justice is looked at from very different angles. The reader will find philosophical discussions on equity or optimal population size longside mathematical analyses of taxation schemes. Most of the papers contain new, hitherto unpublished results.
From May 20 to May 24, 1986 a conference on distributive justice and in- equality was held at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin (Wis- senschaftskolleg zu Berlin). More than thirty scholars participated in this conference. The topics of the presentations ranged from ethics, welfare economics and social choice theory to characterizations of inequality meas- ures and redistributive taxation schemes. This book contains a selection of the papers given at the conference. This collection of articles also appeared as issues 2 and 3 of volume 5 of Social Choice and Welfare. In the first paper P. Suppes argues for a pluralistic concept of equity. For too long the emphasis has been on income distribution but there are other characteristics which are important when one talks about equity. Suppes suggests that it would be desirable to have Lorenz curves for a variety of fea- tures of societies, such as education, health and housing. P. Dasgupta studies the quality of lives in terms of an index of living stand- ards. One has to distinguish between "same number choices" (the number of lives is given) and "different numbers choices" (problem of optimum popUlation). The author argues that in the latter case the anonymity (or sym- metry) axiom cannot be readily defended. Once it is dropped, however, an incoherence in the moral ordering of possible worlds arises. The moral basis for different numbers choices becomes generation-dependent, an overall moral ordering of possible worlds no longer exists.
Table of Contents
Lorenz Curves for Various Processes: A Pluralistic Approach to Equity.- Lives and Well-Being.- Consequentialist Demographic Norms and Parenting Rights.- Measurement of Inequality: An Attempt at Unification and Generalization.- On a Class of Inequality Measures.- Poverty Orderings and Welfare Dominance.- Income Inequality, Welfare and Poverty in a Developing Economy with Applications to Sri Lanka.- Distributional Implications of Equal Sacrifice Rules.- A Note on Minimally Progressive Taxation and Absolute Income Inequality.- Progressive Taxation and Redistributive Taxation: Different Labels for the Same Product?- Characterizing the Nash Bargaining Solution without Pareto-Optimality.