Incentives and principles for individuals in rawls’ theory of justice

Ethics and Economics 3 (1):1-7 (2005)
Abstract
Philippe van Parijs (2003) has argued that an egalitarian ethos cannot be part of a post- Political Liberalism Rawlsian view of justice, because the demands of political justice are confined to principles for institutions of the basic structure alone. This paper argues, by contrast, that certain principles for individual conduct—including a principle requiring relatively advantaged individuals to sometimes make their economic choices with the aim of maximising the prospects of the least advantaged—are an integral part of a Rawlsian political conception of justice. It concludes that incentive payments will have a clearly limited role in a Rawlsian theory of justice.
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