The Concept of Distributive Justice: Ideas for Equality

Tsuneo Ishikawa

in Income and Wealth

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780198288626
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596469 | DOI:
 The Concept of Distributive Justice: Ideas for Equality

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The purpose of this chapter is to examine the logical foundations of typical views of distributive justice––as well as being significant in its own right, the examination will provide a basic viewpoint from which to investigate, in each of the later chapters, how the distribution of income and wealth is determined. Section 2.1 explains the marginal productivity hypothesis as the principle determining income distribution through markets, and then examines where within this mechanism the problem of justice arises. In Sect. 2.2, various conventional criteria of distributive justice are presented that have been proposed in the past; while all of these criteria are intuitive, they provide an important starting point for the investigation. In Sect. 2.3, Mill's theory of utilitarianism, which was intended to satisfy diverse criteria, is stated, and then the theories of the material welfare school are examined, in particular those of Marshall and Pigou, who taking the spirit of utilitarianism as their basis, developed classical economic analysis further. Section 2.4 deals with the Rawls's principles of justice, providing in‐depth coverage of the method of moral philosophy––which is the foundation of the principles as well as its implications––and the final section presents a summary and conclusions.

Keywords: classical economics; criteria; distributive justice; income; income distribution; marginal productivity; Marshall and Pigou; material welfare school; moral philosophy; Rawls's principles of justice; utilitarianism; wealth distribution

Chapter.  14671 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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