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Responsibility and Distributive Justice$
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Carl Knight and Zofia Stemplowska

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199565801

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565801.001.0001

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Four Approaches to Equal Opportunity 1

Four Approaches to Equal Opportunity 1

(p.77) 3 Four Approaches to Equal Opportunity1
Responsibility and Distributive Justice

Marc Fleurbaey

Oxford University Press

This chapter draws attention to two distinctions which have been highlighted by the economics literature on fair opportunities and may have some philosophical relevance. They may even enhance our understanding of the multifaceted notion of responsibility itself. The first distinction is about two possible interpretations of the distributive implications of personal responsibility: either the absence of redistribution or the absence of inequality aversion. The second distinction is between the compensation principle and the reward principle. For each of these two topics, there is an ethical choice to be made between two options. These two choices being quite independent, makes four possible combinations of choices, justifying the title of this chapter. For each of these four possible approaches there is a well-defined criterion or set of criteria which embodies it and makes it possible, in application to policy issues, to select specific redistributive policies.

Keywords:   equal opportunity, responsibility, compensation, reward, redistribution

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