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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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

ISBN13: 9780195384994
Published: December 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press USA
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Hardback
Price: £62.00

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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. Well-Being and Fair Distribution addresses a range of relevant theoretical issues, including the possibility of an interpersonally comparable measure of well-being, or "utility" metric; the moral value of equality, and how that bears on the form of the social welfare function; social choice under uncertainty; and the possibility of integrating considerations of individual choice and responsibility into the social-welfare-function framework. Adler's book also deals with issues of implementation, and explores how survey data and other sources of evidence might be used to calibrate both a utility metric and a social welfare function, and whether 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, responsibility, the nature of 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-analysis scholarship on cost-benefit analysis, environmental justice, and the choice between regulation and taxation; and the burgeoning field of "happiness studies."

Other Jurisdictions , USA
Introduction Chapter 1. Preliminaries: Morality, Consequentialism, Welfarism Chapter 2. The SWF Approach and its Competitors Chapter 3. Well-Being and Interpersonal Comparisons Chapter 4. Estimating Utilities Chapter 5. The Case for a Continuous Prioritarian SWF Chapter 6. Lifetime Prioritarianism Chapter 7. Ranking Actions: Prioritarianism under Uncertainty Chapter 8. Next Steps