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2003

Social Welfare Law

Welfarism

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

What (If Anything) Can Economics Say About Equity?, Daniel A. Farber May 2003

What (If Anything) Can Economics Say About Equity?, Daniel A. Farber

Michigan Law Review

Does economics have anything to teach us about the meaning of fairness? The leading practitioners of law and economics disagree. Judge Richard Posner argues that economics is largely irrelevant to distributive issues. Posner maintains that the most useful economic measure of social welfare is cost-benefit analysis (which he calls wealth maximization). But, he observes, this economic measure "ratifies and perfects an essentially arbitrary distribution of wealth." Given an ethically acceptable initial assignment of wealth, rules based on economic efficiency may have some claim to be considered fair. On the critical issue of distributional equity, however, Posner apparently believes that economics ...


Redistributing Optimally: Of Tax Rules, Legal Rules, And Insurance, Kyle D. Logue, Ronen Avraham Jan 2003

Redistributing Optimally: Of Tax Rules, Legal Rules, And Insurance, Kyle D. Logue, Ronen Avraham

Articles

From the beginning of the law and economics movement, normative legal economists have focused almost exclusively on evaluating the efficiency of alternative legal rules. The distributional consequences of legal rules, therefore, have largely been ignored. It is tempting to conclude that legal economists are hostile or indifferent to concerns of distributional fairness. In fact, however, the discipline of economics has a great deal to say about distributional policy. The normative branch of economics, known as welfare economics, has always been deeply concerned with distributional issues. It is not that welfare economists purport to know a priori the "right" or "optimal ...