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All Individuals May Be Made Worse Off under Any Nonwelfarist Principle

23 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2002  

Louis Kaplow

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

Steven Shavell

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

Date Written: February 2002

Abstract

Nonwelfarist principles - notably, deontological principles - are often advanced to guide moral decisions. The types of choices addressed by such principles typically seem, on their face, to involve conflicts of interests among individuals. Nevertheless, it can be demonstrated that any nonwelfarist principle will, in some circumstances, favor choices that make all individuals worse off. For a variety of reasons, this conclusion has important implications for moral theories that are understood to support nonwelfarist principles.

Suggested Citation

Kaplow, Louis and Shavell, Steven, All Individuals May Be Made Worse Off under Any Nonwelfarist Principle (February 2002). Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 350. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=304385 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.304385

Louis Kaplow (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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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

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts
Hauser 406
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3668 (Phone)
617-496-2256 (Fax)

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