Equity in a Global Public Goods Framework

J. Mohan Rao

in Global Public Goods

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130522
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867363 | DOI:
 Equity in a Global Public Goods Framework

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The current institutions of the world economy already have embedded a concern for distributive justice. Kapstein's historical perspective provides an argument in defense of this statement. This chapter argues that a just economic order has long been valued as a global public good, especially after the Second World War, when the Bretton Woods system was designed. For leaders reflecting on the causes of the war, the links between economic distress and global conflict were all too evident. Kapstein shows that the postwar architecture relied on two pillars: creating wealth and distributing it. Wealth was to be created primarily through free international trade, while redistributing it was the responsibility of domestic institutions. Yet this approach became less and less effective over time. Distributive policies have the character of an international public good, and as such, ways had to be found to ensure that these policies would not be underprovided, as they are if we rely on domestic action alone. The only way forward now, Kapstein argues, is to address these concerns at the international level.

Keywords: distribution; fairness; global public goods; international financial institutions; international trade; justice; Bretton Woods

Chapter.  8095 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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