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Distributive justice

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Institution
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Full-Text Articles in Law

Questions Of Intellectual Property And Fundamental Values In The Digital Age, Jessica Silbey Jan 2023

Questions Of Intellectual Property And Fundamental Values In The Digital Age, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

Today's intellectual property debates, in both law and the larger society, are a bellwether of changing justice needs in the twenty-first century. As the digital age democratizes technological opportunities, it brings intellectual property law into mainstream everyday culture. This generates debates about the relationship between the constitutional interest in "the progress of science and useful arts" and other fundamental values, such as equality, privacy, and distributive justice. These values, which were not explicitly part of intellectual property regimes in prior eras, are especially challenged in today's internet world.

The article (which was presented as the annual Nies Lecture in April …


Personalizing Prices To Redistribute Wealth In Antitrust And Public Utility Rate Regulation, Ramsi A. Woodcock Jan 2022

Personalizing Prices To Redistribute Wealth In Antitrust And Public Utility Rate Regulation, Ramsi A. Woodcock

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

The information age is enabling firms with even small amounts of market power to personalize the prices they charge to each consumer in the market. Left to their own devices, firms will use this new power to increase profits by charging prices personalized to the maximum that each consumer is willing to pay. But government can also use the new power to personalize prices to equalize wealth—by insisting that firms personalize high prices to the rich and low prices to the poor—and most of the legal rules needed to do so are already in place. Both the antitrust laws and …


Can Sandel Dethrone Meritocracy?, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2021

Can Sandel Dethrone Meritocracy?, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This is an invited review essay of Michael Sandel, The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? (FSG 2020), for the inaugural issue of The American Journal of Law and Inequality (R. Kennedy, M. Minow, C. Sunstein, eds.). Sandel makes three principal arguments: (1) meritocracy is deeply flawed because it worsens inequality and fills meritocracy's winners with hubris and losers with shame; (2) universities should introduce a lottery into the admissions process; and (3) this reform, coupled with increased emphasis on the dignity of labor, will repair the politics of resentment that now roil our country.

I respond …


Fair Innings? The Utilitarian And Prioritarian Value Of Risk Reduction Over A Whole Lifetime, Matthew D. Adler, Maddalena Ferranna, James K. Hammitt, Nicolas Treich Jan 2021

Fair Innings? The Utilitarian And Prioritarian Value Of Risk Reduction Over A Whole Lifetime, Matthew D. Adler, Maddalena Ferranna, James K. Hammitt, Nicolas Treich

Faculty Scholarship

The social value of risk reduction (SVRR) is the marginal social value of reducing an individual’s fatality risk, as measured by some social welfare function (SWF). This Article investigates SVRR, using a lifetime utility model in which individuals are differentiated by age, lifetime income profile, and lifetime risk profile. We consider both the utilitarian SWF and a “prioritarian” SWF, which applies a strictly increasing and strictly concave transformation to individual utility.

We show that the prioritarian SVRR provides a rigorous basis in economic theory for the “fair innings” concept, proposed in the public health literature: as between an older individual …


What Regulators Can Learn From Global Health Governance, Cary Coglianese Jan 2021

What Regulators Can Learn From Global Health Governance, Cary Coglianese

All Faculty Scholarship

The Great Pandemic of 2020 shows how much public health around the world depends on effective global and domestic governance. Yet for too long, global health governance and domestic regulatory governance have remained largely separate fields of scholarship and practice. In her book, Global Health Justice and Governance, Jennifer Prah Ruger offers scholars and practitioners of regulatory governance an excellent opportunity to see how domestic regulation shares many of the same problems, strategies, and challenges as global health governance. These commonalities reinforce how much national and subnational regulators can learn from global health governance. Drawing on insights from Prah …


Would Reasonable People Endorse A ‘Content-Neutral’ Law Of Contract?, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2021

Would Reasonable People Endorse A ‘Content-Neutral’ Law Of Contract?, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

This essay raises two challenges to Peter Benson’s compelling new account of contract law. First, I argue that Benson’s use of the concept of reasonableness goes beyond the Rawlsian account to require that we impute to others a capacity to transcend their contingent circumstances in the context of contractual choice. In fact, our choices in contract are driven by external contingencies and it is only reasonable to take those constrains on other people’s choices into account. Second, I contest Benson’s related claim that contract law should be, and largely is, content-neutral. I argue to the contrary that the justice of …


Comments On The Preliminary Framework For Equitable Allocation Of Covid-19 Vaccine, Ana Santos Rutschman, Julia Barnes-Weise, Robert Gatter, Timothy L. Wiemken Jan 2020

Comments On The Preliminary Framework For Equitable Allocation Of Covid-19 Vaccine, Ana Santos Rutschman, Julia Barnes-Weise, Robert Gatter, Timothy L. Wiemken

All Faculty Scholarship

On September 1, 2020 the National Academies released a draft framework for Equitable Allocation of a COVID-19 Vaccine. In this response, we analyze the proposed framework and highlight several areas.

Among the proposed changes, we highlight the need for the following interventions. The final framework for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines should give a higher priority to populations made most vulnerable by the social determinants of health. It should incorporate more geography-based approaches in at least some of the four proposed phases of vaccine distribution. It should address the possibility of a vaccine being made available through an emergency use authorization …


Transparency Trade-Offs Priority Setting, Scarcity, And Health Fairness, Govind Persad Jun 2019

Transparency Trade-Offs Priority Setting, Scarcity, And Health Fairness, Govind Persad

Sturm College of Law: Faculty Scholarship

This chapter argues that rather than viewing transparency as a right, we should regard it as a finite resource whose allocation involves tradeoffs. It then argues that those tradeoffs should be resolved by using a multi-principle approach to distributive justice. The relevant principles include maximizing welfare, maximizing autonomy, and giving priority to the worst off. Finally, it examines some of the implications for law of recognizing the tradeoffs presented by transparency proposals.


Global Investment Rules As A Site For Moral Inquiry, Steven R. Ratner Nov 2018

Global Investment Rules As A Site For Moral Inquiry, Steven R. Ratner

Articles

The legal regime regulating cross-border investment gives key rights to foreign investors and places significant duties on states hosting that investment. It also raises distinctive moral questions due to its potential to constrain a state’s ability to manage its economy and protect its people. Yet international investment law remains virtually untouched as a subject of philosophical inquiry. The questions of international political morality surrounding investment rules can be mapped through the lens of two critiques of the law – that it systemically takes advantage of the global South and that it constrains the policy choices of states hosting investment. Each …


The Long Environmental Justice Movement, Jedediah Purdy Jan 2018

The Long Environmental Justice Movement, Jedediah Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

The standpoint of environmental justice has become integral to environmental law in the last thirty years. Environmental justice criticizes mainstream environmental law and advocacy institutions on three main fronts: for paying too little attention to the distributive effects of environmental policy; for emphasizing elite and professional advocacy over participation in decision making by affected communities; and for adhering to a woods-and-waters view of which problems count as “environmental” that disregards the importance of neighborhoods, workplaces, and cities. This Article highlights the existence of a “long environmental justice movement” that, like the long movements for racial equality and labor organizing, put …


Introduction: Does Labour Law Need Philosophical Foundations?, Hugh Collins, Gillian L. Lester, Virginia Mantouvalou Jan 2018

Introduction: Does Labour Law Need Philosophical Foundations?, Hugh Collins, Gillian L. Lester, Virginia Mantouvalou

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter examines the relationship between labour law and its philosophical foundations. It suggests that it is essential to stand back from political compromises, which are often the subject of labour law scholarship, to consider the key attributes of the subject and its foundational goals and principles. It proposes that we need a normative account of labour law in order to assess its shortcomings and propose reforms, but also that the most important reasons for pursuing a philosophical agenda concern the continuing existence of the subject of labour law and the paradigm around which it is built. Having made the …


International Investment Law Through The Lens Of Global Justice, Steven Ratner Nov 2017

International Investment Law Through The Lens Of Global Justice, Steven Ratner

Law & Economics Working Papers

The last decade has witnessed a series of criticisms from states, NGOs, and scholars of international investment law’s rules and procedures. Running in parallel, and for a longer period, political philosophers have developed theories about what would constitute a just international economic order. Yet international law and philosophy have not directly engaged with one another regarding the justice of international investment law. This article attempts to breach that gap by analyzing the key critiques of investment law from the perspective of theories of global justice. Philosophical approaches are useful for appraising investment law because they offer a rigorous framework for …


Distributive Justice And Donative Intent, Alexander Boni-Saenz Jul 2017

Distributive Justice And Donative Intent, Alexander Boni-Saenz

All Faculty Scholarship

The inheritance system is beset by formalism. Probate courts reject wills on technicalities and refuse to correct obvious drafting mistakes by testators. These doctrines lead to donative errors, or outcomes that are not in line with the decedent’s donative intent. While scholars and reformers have critiqued the intent-defeating effects of formalism in the past, none have examined the resulting distribution of donative errors and connected it to broader social and economic inequalities. Drawing on egalitarian theories of distributive justice, this Article develops a novel critique of formalism in the inheritance law context. The central normative claim is that formalistic wills …


Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2017

Rationing Criminal Justice, Richard A. Bierschbach, Stephanos Bibas

All Faculty Scholarship

Of the many diagnoses of American criminal justice’s ills, few focus on externalities. Yet American criminal justice systematically overpunishes in large part because few mechanisms exist to force consideration of the full social costs of criminal justice interventions. Actors often lack good information or incentives to minimize the harms they impose. Part of the problem is structural: criminal justice is fragmented vertically among governments, horizontally among agencies, and individually among self-interested actors. Part is a matter of focus: doctrinally and pragmatically, actors overwhelmingly view each case as an isolated, short-term transaction to the exclusion of broader, long-term, and aggregate effects. …


Inequality Rediscovered, Jedediah Purdy, David Singh Grewal Jan 2017

Inequality Rediscovered, Jedediah Purdy, David Singh Grewal

Faculty Scholarship

Widespread recognition that economic inequality has been growing for forty years in most of the developed world, and in fact has tended to grow across most of the history of modern economies, shows that the period 1945-1973, when inequality of wealth and income shrank, was a marked anomaly in historical experience. At the time, however, the anomalous period of equality seemed to vindicate a long history of optimism about economic life: that growth would overcome meaningful scarcity and usher in an egalitarian and humanistic period that could almost qualify as post-economic. This has not been the experience of the last …


Markovits On Defining Monopolization: A Comment, Keith N. Hylton Feb 2016

Markovits On Defining Monopolization: A Comment, Keith N. Hylton

Faculty Scholarship

In this comment I focus on Richard Markovits’s definition of monopolization in his new book, Economics and the Interpretation and Application of U.S. and E.U. Antitrust Law (Springer 2014), and also his assertion that monopolization is distributively unjust. I agree wholeheartedly with his approach to defining monopolization, though I might alter a few details. However, I think the distributive justice effects of monopolization are ambiguous.


Reparations For Racism: Why The Persistence Of Institutional Racism In America Demands More Than Equal Opportunity For Black Citizens, Alexander Lowe Jan 2016

Reparations For Racism: Why The Persistence Of Institutional Racism In America Demands More Than Equal Opportunity For Black Citizens, Alexander Lowe

Richard T. Schellhase Essay Prize in Ethics

No abstract provided.


Justice, Claims And Prioritarianism: Room For Desert?, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2016

Justice, Claims And Prioritarianism: Room For Desert?, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

Does individual desert matter for distributive justice? Is it relevant, for purposes of justice, that the pattern of distribution of justice’s “currency” (be it well-being, resources, preference-satisfaction, capabilities, or something else) is aligned in one or another way with the pattern of individual desert?

This paper examines the nexus between desert and distributive justice through the lens of individual claims. The concept of claims (specifically “claims across outcomes”) is a fruitful way to flesh out the content of distributive justice so as to be grounded in the separateness of persons. A claim is a relation between a person and a …


Years Of Good Life Based On Income And Health: Re-Engineering Cost-Benefit Analysis To Examine Policy Impact On Wellbeing And Distributive Justice, Richard Cookson, Owen Cotton-Barrett, Matthew D. Adler, Miqdad Asaria, Toby Ord Jan 2016

Years Of Good Life Based On Income And Health: Re-Engineering Cost-Benefit Analysis To Examine Policy Impact On Wellbeing And Distributive Justice, Richard Cookson, Owen Cotton-Barrett, Matthew D. Adler, Miqdad Asaria, Toby Ord

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Wealth And Democracy, Jedediah Purdy Jan 2015

Wealth And Democracy, Jedediah Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

The renewed debate over inequality has highlighted a set of deficits in much of the last fifty-plus years of thinking on the topic. The late twentieth-century tradition of thinking about distributive justice largely assumed (1) that market dynamics would produce stable and tolerable levels of inequality; and (2) that a relatively powerful, competent, and legitimate state could effectively redistribute to mitigate what inequality did arise. What was largely overlooked in this thought and has since risen to central attention is the prospect that (1) accelerating levels of market-produced inequality will (2) undermine the legitimacy and efficacy of the state and …


Reading Intellectual Property Law Reform Through The Lens Of Constitutional Equality, Jessica Silbey Jan 2015

Reading Intellectual Property Law Reform Through The Lens Of Constitutional Equality, Jessica Silbey

Faculty Scholarship

In reviewing three books, Robert Spoo's Without Copyright, Bill Herman's The Fight for Digital Rights, and Aram Sinnreich's The Piracy Crusade, for Tulsa Law Review's annual book review volume, this paper explores new themes and structures in Supreme Court cases about intellectual property. Studying the new histories and processes described in the books under review helps reveal constitutional equality frameworks in Supreme Court cases about intellectual property usually understood as cases about congressional deference and property rights. This article explains how many of these Supreme Court cases about IP reflect a range of equality modalities - e.g., …


Introduction: Toward Voice And Reflexivity, Olivier De Schutter, Katharina Pistor Jan 2015

Introduction: Toward Voice And Reflexivity, Olivier De Schutter, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

In their introductory chapter, De Schutter and Pistor argue that in light of increasing absolute and relative scarcity of land and fresh water there is urgent need to improve the governance of these and other essential resources. Emphasizing “essentiality” shifts the debate from allocative efficiency to normative concerns of equity and dignity. Essential resources are indispensable for survival and/or for meaningful participation in a given community. Their allocation therefore cannot be left to the pricing mechanism alone. It requires new parameters for governance. The authors propose Voice and Reflexivity as the key parameters of such a regime. Voice is …


Penalty Default Licenses: A Case For Uncertainty, Kristelia A. García Jan 2014

Penalty Default Licenses: A Case For Uncertainty, Kristelia A. García

Publications

Research on the statutory license for certain types of copyright-protected content has revealed an unlikely symbiosis between uncertainty and efficiency. Contrary to received wisdom, which tells us that in order to increase efficiency, we must increase stability, this Article suggests that uncertainty can actually be used to increase efficiency in the marketplace. In the music industry, the battle over terrestrial performance rights--that is, the right of a copyright holder to collect royalties for plays of a sound recording on terrestrial radio--has raged for decades. In June 2012, in a deal that circumvented the statutory license for sound recordings for the …


Solving Charity Failures, Brian L. Frye Jan 2014

Solving Charity Failures, Brian L. Frye

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

“Crowdfunding” is a way of using the Internet to raise money by asking the public to contribute to a project. In the past, asking a large number of people to contribute small amounts of money to a project was expensive and inefficient for most organizations and individuals. By greatly reducing transaction costs, crowdfunding enables anyone to inexpensively and efficiently seek small contributions to a project. While crowdfunding is a new model of fundraising, it has already transformed funding for the arts. For example, the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter distributed more than forty million dollars to the creators of almost seventy-five hundred …


How Trade Law Changed: Why It Should Change Again, John Linarelli Jan 2014

How Trade Law Changed: Why It Should Change Again, John Linarelli

Scholarly Works

No abstract provided.


Deprivative Recognition, Erez Aloni Jan 2014

Deprivative Recognition, Erez Aloni

All Faculty Publications

Family law is now replete with proposals advocating for the legal recognition of nonmarital relationships: those between friends, relatives, unmarried intimate partners, and the like. The presumption underlying these proposals is that legal recognition is financially beneficial to partners. This assumption is sometimes wrong: Legal recognition of relationships can be harmful to unmarried partners — a reality whose impact on policy concerning regulation of nonmarital unions has not been explored. As this Article shows, a significant number of people benefit financially from nonrecognition of their relationships. While in most cases the state turns a blind eye to this financial gain, …


The Pigou-Dalton Principle And The Structure Of Distributive Justice, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2013

The Pigou-Dalton Principle And The Structure Of Distributive Justice, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship

The Pigou-Dalton (PD) principle recommends a non-leaky, non-rank-switching transfer of goods from someone with more goods to someone with less. This Article defends the PD principle as an aspect of distributive justice --- enabling the comparison of two distributions, neither completely equal, as more or less just. It shows how the PD principle flows from a particular view, adumbrated by Thomas Nagel, about the grounding of distributive justice in individuals' "claims." And it criticizes two competing frameworks for thinking about justice that less clearly support the principle: the veil-of-ignorance framework, and Larry Temkin's proposal that fairer distributions are those concerning …


Poverty Tourism, Justice And Policy, Kevin Outterson, Evan Selinger, Kyle Whyte May 2011

Poverty Tourism, Justice And Policy, Kevin Outterson, Evan Selinger, Kyle Whyte

Faculty Scholarship

Based on moral grounds, should poverty tourism be subject to specific policy constraints? This article responds by testing poverty tourism against the ethical guideposts of compensation justice, participative justice, and recognition justice, and two case descriptions, favela tours in Rocinha and garbage dump tours in Mazatlan. The argument advanced is that the complexity of the social relationships involved those tours requires policy-relevant research and solutions.


Is Cap-And-Trade Fair To The Poor? Short-Sighted Households And The Timing Of Consumption Taxes, Manuel A. Utset, Brian Galle Jan 2010

Is Cap-And-Trade Fair To The Poor? Short-Sighted Households And The Timing Of Consumption Taxes, Manuel A. Utset, Brian Galle

Scholarly Publications

No abstract provided.


Energy Justice And Sustainable Development, Lakshman Guruswamy Jan 2010

Energy Justice And Sustainable Development, Lakshman Guruswamy

Publications

Sustainable Development ("SD")--an expression of distributive justice--is the foundational premise of international energy and environmental law. It posits that international answers to environmental and energy problems cannot be pursued as independent and autonomous objectives but must be addressed within the framework of economic and social development. SD has been politically institutionalized in the Millennium Development Goals and a plethora of significant international instruments. Perhaps more importantly from a legal standpoint, SD is unequivocally codified, in the most widely accepted international energy and environmental treaties. This Article affirms the importance and continuing applicability of SD to the "other" third of the …