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Fairness in PracticeA Social Contract for a Global Economy$
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Aaron James

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199846153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199846153.001.0001

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Principles of Equity

Principles of Equity

(p.203) Chapter Seven Principles of Equity
Fairness in Practice

Aaron James

Oxford University Press

This chapter elaborates and defends three basic principles of structural equity. A first requires that “losers” be compensated, in light of a proposed general conception of when a person or social class is harmed by trade. The second and third principles concern how the gains of trade are distributed, across and within societies. For reasons of “priority for the worse off,” departures from equality of gain are justifiable when unequal gains flow to developing countries. The chapter also challenges appeals to utilitarianism, economic liberty, legitimate expectations, equality of opportunity, fair-risk imposition, and “cosmopolitan” conceptions of fairness.

Keywords:   harm, unemployment, compensation, transitional protections, social insurance, economic liberty, legitimate expectations, strict equality, priority for the worse off, risk imposition, risk assumption, reciprocity of risk, equality of opportunity, cosmopolitanism

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