Principles of Equity

Aaron James

in Fairness in Practice

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199846153
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933389 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Political Philosophy

Principles of Equity

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This chapter elaborates and defends three basic principles of structural equity. A first requires that “losers” be compensated, in light of a proposed general conception of when a person or social class is harmed by trade. The second and third principles concern how the gains of trade are distributed, across and within societies. For reasons of “priority for the worse off,” departures from equality of gain are justifiable when unequal gains flow to developing countries. The chapter also challenges appeals to utilitarianism, economic liberty, legitimate expectations, equality of opportunity, fair-risk imposition, and “cosmopolitan” conceptions of fairness.

Keywords: harm; unemployment; compensation; transitional protections; social insurance; economic liberty; legitimate expectations; strict equality; priority for the worse off; risk imposition; risk assumption; reciprocity of risk; equality of opportunity; cosmopolitanism

Chapter.  16186 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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