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Developmental Freedom and Social Order: Rethinking the Relation between Work and Equality

Louise Haagh ()
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Louise Haagh: University of York

The Journal of Philosophical Economics, 2007, vol. 1, issue 1, 119-160

Abstract: This essay points to an institutional account of our existential interest in work as a missing piece in welfare analysis. In contrast with social liberals in the post-war era, both liberal economic and egalitarian discourses today espouse a narrowly atomistic account of human nature and the modern economy. Therefore they are unable to take account of the institutional bases of economic development, individual autonomy and social order, and the way these connect. The essay shows that a patterning of distributional outcomes is a reality in both deregulated and densely governed capitalist economies, but that only the latter offers real scope for social and individual choice. The influence of the atomistic account on liberal egalitarian thought however has produced an unambitious, imprecise, and in the case of welfare contractualism, a coercive, account of both individual freedom and social community. What is needed is a more explicit inclusion of a temporal dimension in welfare and economic analysis and a more differentiated framework of pluralist governance.

Keywords: Developmental freedom; occupation stability; Welfare Contractualism; economic institutions; dynamic efficiency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A13 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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