Bridging the 'Normative Gap': Mechanism Design and Social Justice
Economics and Philosophy
26 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2018 Last revised: 29 Jun 2020
Date Written: January 1, 2018
I draw on contemporary debates in political philosophy to understand the limits and hazards of using mechanism design to offer technical solutions to problems in which technical and social issues are intertwined. Using Boston’s experience with K-12 school choice reform over the last half century as a case study, I argue that mechanism design introduces what I call a "normative gap" between the goals pursued by economic designers and those pursued by policymakers.
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