[Kaplow and Shavell] challenge [the] conventional wisdom. They argue that what matters most is whether a particular policy promotes the general welfare, saying "we discover very little basis for the use of notions of fairness as independent evaluative principles"...Fairness Versus Welfare is academically rigorous and intellectually challenging. Kaplow and Shavell have rolled a philosophical hand grenade into the practical world of policy. -- Doug Bandow Washington Times 20020809 Kaplow and Shavell...coauthored this interdisciplinary and systematic study that addresses the issue of what philosophical standards are preferable in the formulation and assessment of public policy, particularly a legal system...Their work aims to identify key normative moral principles that may defensibly be used to assess legal policy and rules. The book's main thesis is that a welfare-based norm (how the overall well-being of individuals is effected) should be used both to justify the selection of legal rules and in normative legal analysis generally...The authors display a masterful command of the relevant scholarly literature...Highly recommended. -- A. S. Rosenbaum Choice 20021201 Fairness versus Welfare aspires to be the new manifesto for normative law and economics...This new brief for normative law and economics is, substantively, a genuine advance over the traditional commitment to wealth maximization. -- Matthew Adler Ethics This is an extremely careful and complete analysis of issues relating to the proper norms for policy analysis. For those of us who use welfare economics in our analyses, this provides a well argued justification and a set of arguments we can use to defend our position. For those who do not, this book provides a serious challenge, and one which must be addressed. -- Paul H. Rubin Public ChoiceVom Verlag:
"Fairness versus Welfare" poses a bold challenge to contemporary moral philosophy by showing that most moral principles conflict more sharply with welfare than is generally recognized. In particular, the authors demonstrate that all principles that are not based exclusively on welfare will sometimes favour policies under which literally everyone would be worse off.
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