Title

Institutional foundations for a just society

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

The Journal of Socio-Economics

Publication Date

1-1-1997

Volume

26

Issue

6

First Page

627

Last Page

643

Abstract

The author distinguishes between fundamental justice and incremental justice and argues that the Harsanyian/Rawlsian, ex ante, concept of justice is the only concept of justice relevant to the design and evaluation of institutions. Unlike incremental justice for which a concensus as to what constitutes justice is generally not possible the conditions that satisfy the Harsanyian/Rawlsian concept of justice are derived from the assumptions of rationality and aversion to large risks, and the postulate of fairness. A concensus occurs not fortuitously but inevitably. The paper develops eight principles of institutional design that contribute towards a just society and that follow logically from these assumptions and postulates. The paper argues that these principles are by and large needed for social welfare maximization, so that justice is generally consistent with efficiency. The paper applies the theory to the concept of exploitation, crime and punishment, as well as labour market and social security, to illustrate the working of the principles developed.

DOI

10.1016/S1053-5357(97)90062-7

Print ISSN

10535357

E-ISSN

18791239

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 1997 by JAI Press, Inc.

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Ho, L. S. (1997). Institutional foundations for a just society. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 26(6), 627-643. doi: 10.1016/S1053-5357(97)90062-7