Bridging the 'Normative Gap': Mechanism Design and Social Justice

Economics and Philosophy

26 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2018 Last revised: 29 Jun 2020

See all articles by Zoë Hitzig

Zoë Hitzig

Harvard University - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 1, 2018

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Hitzig, Zoë, Bridging the 'Normative Gap': Mechanism Design and Social Justice (January 1, 2018). Economics and Philosophy, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3242882 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3242882

Zoë Hitzig (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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