Choice and Incentive Inequality

Susan Hurley

in The Egalitarian Conscience

Published in print March 2006 | ISBN: 9780199281688
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603747 | DOI:
Choice and Incentive Inequality

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This essay considers the implications of self-interest for equality in the context of the ‘luck egalitarian’ view that an individual’s wealth is justly owned only if it is the result of a responsible choice. A possible response to Cohen’s argument against incentives might be that since individuals can choose to work harder on behalf of the disadvantaged, they are also partly responsible for, and entitled to, the extra wealth they produce. This view is rejected, noting that were the tax rate adjusted to accommodate responsibility for being productive, it would whittle away the benefits of productivity for redistributive purposes.

Keywords: Roemer; justice; equality; talent; choice; incentive; luck egalitarianism; responsibility; desert; taxation

Chapter.  10731 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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