Political Economy of Fairness

ISBN-10: 0262740192

ISBN-13: 9780262740197

Edition: N/A

Authors: Edward E. Zajac

List price: $7.75
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How should the government balance the aims of justice and economic efficiency when intervening in the economy? In Political Economy of FairnessEdward Zajac seeks not only to raise the level of the fairness-economic efficiency debate, but to show both the importance and the difficulty (illustrated by the ongoing struggle of the Supreme Court to put meaning into the Sherman and Clayton antitrust acts) of getting the economic theory right in executing fairness-motivated policy. He also reveals both the pervasiveness of government interference in the marketplace and the generality of the stakeholders-fairness-efficiency paradigm as an organizing framework for identifying and analyzing the interaction of the major elements in the policy debates. Political Economy of Fairnesscovers the main advances of fairness theory, providing a vocabulary of concepts and terms that will allow more efficient and informed communication about policy. It explains these sometimes quite difficult concepts in clear language with maximum appeal to intuition and little mathematics and reviews the experimental work of economists as well as the more standard approaches of moral philosophers. Part I looks at how economists understand and commonly define the concepts of efficiency, costs, prices, exit/entry, externalities, public goods, firms, risks and incentives, and principal-agent theory. Part II reviews fairness theory, including the basic elements of the theories of John Rawls, Robert Nozick, utilitarianism, and superfairness, and the extensive work of experimental economists to develop positive theories of fairness. Part III covers economic theories of regulation and government intervention, introducing the different concepts of taxation, "cures" for market failures, theories of public choice, and rent seeking. Zajac concludes this part by observing that incentive-compatible regulation appears to economists as the most promising approach to government intervention. The book closes with several case studies that illustrate recurrent themes in regulation and policy. The case studies include progressive taxation, unfair pricing (cross-subsidization and predatory pricing and dumping), mergers and acquisitions, and health, safety, and environmental regulation.
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Book details

List price: $7.75
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 9/25/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 344
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.80" tall
Weight: 0.902
Language: English

Basic Economic Concepts and Ideas
The Concept of Economic Efficiency
More Economic Concepts
Externalities and Public Goods
On Firms (Private or Public Organizations)
Risk and Incentives; Principal-Agent Theory
Fairness Theory
A Brief Intellectual History of the Economist's Current Ethical Outlook
Normative Theories I: John Rawls
Normative Theories II: Robert Nozick, Utilitarianism, and Superfairness
Positive Theories I: The Formal Principle of Distributive Justice and Institutional Framing
Positive Theories II: Perceived Economic Justice in Public Utility Regulation
Strategic Uses of Fairness
Normative and Positive Economic Theories of Regulation
Public Interest (Normative) Economic Theories of Regulation
Interest Group (Positive) Economic Theories of Regulation: Incentive-Compatible Regulation
Case Studies and Applications
Introduction to Part IV
Progressive Taxation
Unfair Pricing I: Cross-Subsidization
Unfair Pricing II: Predatory Pricing and Dumping - Whose Ox Is Being Gored?
Evaluating Assets Fairly: The Example of Public Utility Regulation
The Supreme Court's Struggle with Mergers and Breakups
Attempts to Break Out of the Regulatory Straitjacket, Fairly
Social Regulation: A Medley of the Power of the Media, Efficiency, Utilitarianism, and Individual Rights
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