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Feminism, Fairness, and Welfare: An Invitation to Feminist Law and Economics


Gillian K. Hadfield


USC Law School and Department of Economics


Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 1, p. 285, 2005
USC CLEO Research Paper No. C05-15
USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 05-22

Abstract:     
In recent years there has been a renewed effort to ground conventional law and economics methodology, with its exclusive focus on efficiency and income redistribution through the tax system, in modern welfare economics (Kaplow & Shavell 1994, 2001). This effort raises a challenge to the possibility of a feminist law and economics: Is it possible to be a good (welfare) economist and still maintain the ethical and political commitments necessary to address feminist concerns with, for example, rights, inequality, and caring labor? In this review, I argue that modern welfare economics, rather than supporting the ethical minimalism of conventional methodology advocated by Kaplow and Shavell, ratifies the need for an ethically and politically informed economic analysis. Feminists can, and should, use the tools of both positive and normative economics to analyze feminist issues in law.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: welfare economics, care, justice, efficiency, normative, ethics

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Date posted: November 11, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Hadfield, Gillian K., Feminism, Fairness, and Welfare: An Invitation to Feminist Law and Economics. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 1, p. 285, December 2005; USC CLEO Research Paper No. C05-15; USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 05-22. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=846606

Contact Information

Gillian K. Hadfield (Contact Author)
USC Law School and Department of Economics ( email )
699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-821-6793 (Phone)
213-740-5502 (Fax)

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