Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=202108
 
 

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The Conflict Between Notions of Fairness and the Pareto Principle


Louis Kaplow


Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Steven Shavell


Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Fall 1999

American Law and Economics Review, 2000

Abstract:     
Most legal academics and policymakers believe that notions of fairness should be accorded positive weight in evaluating legal policies. We explain, however, that ascribing importance to any notion of fairness (other than one concerned solely with the distribution of income) will sometimes lead to a conflict with the Pareto principle. That is, to endorse a notion of fairness is to endorse the view that it can be desirable to adopt a legal rule that will reduce the well-being of every person in society.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

JEL Classification: K00, D63, H43

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Date posted: February 18, 2000  

Suggested Citation

Kaplow, Louis and Shavell, Steven, The Conflict Between Notions of Fairness and the Pareto Principle (Fall 1999). American Law and Economics Review, 2000. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=202108 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.202108

Contact Information

Louis Kaplow
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4101 (Phone)
617-496-4880 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/facdir.php?id=32&show=bibliography
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Steven Shavell (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3668 (Phone)
617-496-2256 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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