Is Economic Freedom the Hidden Path to Social Justice?
13 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2019 Last revised: 21 May 2019
Date Written: December 1, 2018
How can societies advance social justice? Many of the goals of social justice are addressed by research on economic freedom, including social tolerance and protection of minority rights, promotion of democracy and political freedoms, and income inequality. We survey the academic literature on these topics and find that in many cases economic freedom can serve to advance the goals of social justice. Income equality is the goal for which the results are the least clear, and it is possible that some components of economic freedom increase income inequality, but the effects are nuanced. Based on these results, advocates of social justice may indeed want to embrace economic freedom in some areas while recognizing that there may sometimes be a trade-off between various goals.
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