Well-Being and Fair Distribution: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis

Hardcover | December 14, 2011

byMatthew Adler

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In Well-Being and Fair Distribution: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis, author Matthew D. Adler provides readers with a comprehensive, philosophically grounded argument for the use of social welfare functions as a framework for governmental policy analysis--a framework that is welfarist but notutilitarian, and sensitive to the distribution of human well-being.Well-Being and Fair Distribution addresses a range of relevant theoretical issues, including the nature of well-being and the possibility of interpersonal welfare comparisons; the moral value of equality, and how that bears on the form of the social welfare function; social choice under uncertainty;and the integration of individual responsibility into the social-welfare function approach. Adler also explores issues of implementation by looking at how survey data and other sources of evidence might be used to calibrate both a well-being metric and a social welfare function, and discussingwhether distributive goals are ever best pursued through regulation rather than the tax system. In working through this range of theoretical and practical issues, Well-Being and Fair Distribution draws from a wide variety of literatures, including philosophical scholarship on equality,"prioritarianism," responsibility, well-being, and personal identity over time; the social choice literature within economics; applied economic literatures concerning the measurement of inequality and poverty; legal and policy-analytic scholarship on cost-benefit analysis, environmental justice, andthe choice between regulation and taxation; and the burgeoning field of "happiness studies."

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In Well-Being and Fair Distribution: Beyond Cost-Benefit Analysis, author Matthew D. Adler provides readers with a comprehensive, philosophically grounded argument for the use of social welfare functions as a framework for governmental policy analysis--a framework that is welfarist but notutilitarian, and sensitive to the distribution ...

Matthew D. Adler is the Leon Meltzer Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also taught at Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Virginia, and is currently a visiting professor at Duke University. In 2007 he received the University of Pennsylvania Lindback Foundation Award for disting...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:656 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:December 14, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195384997

ISBN - 13:9780195384994

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Preliminaries: Morality, Consequentialism, Welfarism2. The SWF Approach and its Competitors3. Well-Being and Interpersonal Comparisons4. Estimating Utilities5. The Case for a Continuous Prioritarian SWF6. Lifetime Prioritarianism7. Ranking Actions: Prioritarianism under Uncertainty8. Next Steps