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When is economic inequality justified?

Ajnesh Prasad

Business Horizons, 2018, vol. 61, issue 6, 855-862

Abstract: In the last decade, scholars in the field of organization and management studies have expressed much interest in responding to economic inequality–a phenomenon that led to what some commentators label the crisis of capitalism. While engagements with this topic offered important insights into how organizations are implicated in the propagation of economic inequality, researchers have not yet sufficiently considered the broader, though equally as pertinent, normative question: When is economic inequality justified? This article uses John Rawls’ theory of justice to respond to this question and contends that Rawls provides the philosophical foundation from which to consider the conditions under which economic inequality could be considered fair and just. To animate its conceptual ideas, I present shared capitalism as one form of arranging compensatory systems in contemporary labor relations that would maintain economic inequality, though in a way that would be consistent with Rawls’ conception of justice.

Keywords: Philosophy of capitalism; Economic inequality; Employee ownership; John Rawls; Shared capitalism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:bushor:v:61:y:2018:i:6:p:855-862