What We Owe Our Children, They Their Children, and...

43 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2000

See all articles by John E. Roemer

John E. Roemer

Yale University - Department of Political Science; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Roberto Veneziani

University of London - School of Economics and Finance

Date Written: September 2001

Abstract

Egalitarian theorists, since Rawls, have in the main advocated equalizing some objective measure of individual well-being, such as primary goods, functioning, or resources, rather than subjective welfare. This discussion, however, has assumed, implicitly, a static environment. By analyzing a society that survives for many generations, we demonstrate that equality of opportunity for some objective condition is incompatible with human development over time. We argue that this incompatibility can be resolved by equalizing opportunities for welfare. Thus, 'subjectivism' seems necessary if we are to hope for a society which can both equalize opportunities and support the development of human capacity over time.

Keywords: Justice, Development, Dynamic Programming, Optimal Taxation

JEL Classification: C61, C63, D9, H21

Suggested Citation

Roemer, John E. and Veneziani, Roberto, What We Owe Our Children, They Their Children, and... (September 2001). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 1326. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=214134

John E. Roemer (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5249 (Phone)
203-432-6196 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~jer39/

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Roberto Veneziani

University of London - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

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