Moral Uncertainty and Redistribution Through Private Law

16 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2015

See all articles by Adi Libson

Adi Libson

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law; Van-Leer Institute

Date Written: December 9, 2015


One of the central arguments against redistribution through private law is its inefficiency due to the double-distortion phenomenon that accompanies it. I argue that in a subset of cases — in which there is uncertainty regarding the fairness principle that should be accepted in the realm of private law — it may be required to take into account redistributive considerations even if one generally accepts the double-distortion argument. I assert that while side-constraints may apply to direct redistribution, they do not apply to the role of redistributive considerations in determining which of the fairness principles should be accepted in the realm of private law. As a consequence, some distributive patterns could be achieved only by taking into account redistributive considerations in the realm of private law. I argue that redistributive considerations may tilt the scales toward accepting the fairness principle with the lower credence of being true.

Keywords: Double Distortion, Moral Uncertainty, Redistribution, Private Law

JEL Classification: K30

Suggested Citation

Libson, Adi, Moral Uncertainty and Redistribution Through Private Law (December 9, 2015). Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Adi Libson (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Faculty of Law
Ramat Gan, 52900
97225631156 (Phone)

Van-Leer Institute ( email )

43 Jabotinsky Street
POB 4070
Jerusalem, 91040
9725631156 (Phone)

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