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Theories of justice: socialconditioning and personal responsibility in roemers's contribution

Nicola Acocella

No 52, Working Papers from University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics

Abstract: We deal with a question that is central in a theory of justice, that of social conditioning and personal responsibility. Roemer’s attempt to separate the latter from the former, in order to circumscribe redistributive public policy, is of the utmost interest but has significant limitations. One such limitation has to do with the way in which assessment of personal responsibility can take place, which is empirical and uncertain and is thus open to errors with unacceptable consequences. A second limitation of Roemer’s analysis regards the fact that he does not consider the question of the ‘environment’ in which personal responsibility develops, and the incentives arising from the basic architecture of society. In addition, not only self-responsibility but also social responsibility, i.e., responsibility towards other people, should be taken into account.

Keywords: theories of justice; social conditioning; personal responsibility; welfare state. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D60 D63 I30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27
Date: 2002-02
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