Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (3):287-306 (2014)

Julian Lamont
University of Queensland
In this article I defend the claim that subsidies for university education should be substantially reduced. The normative justification for this conclusion derives from a theory of distributive justice called the Compensation Theory of Income Justice, which is most easily understood as a normative version of the positive economic theory of compensating differentials. Relying on the distinction between incentives and economic rents, and after considering two ‘received opinions’ about why large income differentials exist in modern societies, I note that substantial portions of above-average incomes are likely to be artificial monopoly rents, rather than incentives or natural monopoly rents. Under the Compensation Theory of Income Justice the earning of artificial monopoly rents is not justified. Since subsidisation of university education fees increases lifetime artificial rents, the theory would recommend such subsidies be substantially reduced. I defend this conclusion against objections, the most notable of which is the view that university subsidies help to improve equality of opportunity to university education. I explain how it is possible to maintain the laudable aim of providing equality of opportunity while reducing the subsidisation and, as a consequence, the lifetime artificial rents
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/japp.12061
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,999
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Incentive Income, Deserved Income and Economic Rents.Julian Lamont - 1997 - Journal of Political Philosophy 5 (1):26–46.
Productivity, Compensation, and Voluntariness.Julian Lamont - 2010 - In Christi Favor, Gerald F. Gaus & Julian Lamont (eds.), Essays on Philosophy, Politics & Economics: Integration & Common Research Projects. Stanford Economics and Finance.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Incentive Income, Deserved Income and Economic Rents.Julian Lamont - 1997 - Journal of Political Philosophy 5 (1):26–46.
Are Rawlsians Entitled to Monopoly Rights?Speranta Dumitru - 2008 - In A. Gosseries, A. Marciano & A. Strowel (eds.), Intelectual Property and Theories of Justice. Palgrave-MacMilan.
Equal Justice.Eric Rakowski - 1991 - Oxford University Press.
Distributive Justice, Injustice and Beyond Justice.Wei Xiaopin - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 50:857-872.
From Bodo Ethics to Distributive Justice.Russell Hardin - 1999 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (4):399-413.
Fair Rents—Legal Sense From Economic Nonsense?R. G. Lee - 1984 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 4 (2):287-294.
The University and Social Justice.Frank Cunningham - 2007 - Journal of Academic Ethics 5 (2-4):153-162.
Critical Capability Pedagogies and University Education.Melanie Walker - 2010 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (8):898-917.
Why Relational Egalitarians Should Care About Distributions.Christian Schemmel - 2011 - Social Theory and Practice 37 (3):365-390.
Nature and Value Theory.Andriana Vlachou - 2002 - Science and Society 66 (2):169 - 201.


Added to PP index

Total views
42 ( #240,246 of 2,410,437 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #346,770 of 2,410,437 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes