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Kristi A. Olson
Bowdoin College
  1. The Endowment Tax Puzzle.Kristi A. Olson - 2010 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (3):240-271.
    Unlike the traditional earnings tax which is based on the individual’s actual income, the endowment tax is based on the individual’s maximum potential income. The endowment tax raises a frightful prospect: an individual taxed according to her potential income as, say, a corporate lawyer might be forced to give up her preferred occupation as a philosophy professor and to work as a corporate lawyer in order to pay her taxes. Although this seems to be an impermissible intrusion on freedom, the (...)
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    Autarky as a Moral Baseline.Kristi A. Olson - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (2):264-285.
    In his account of fairness in international trade, Aaron James distinguishes autarkic gains from the gains of trade. Since the autarkic gains are external to the practice of trade, James's account allows each country to keep these gains. The gains of trade, in contrast, must be distributed equally. This distinction suffers from three problems. First, James's autarkic adjustment not only allows inequalities to persist, but exacerbates and creates new ones. Second, there is no non-morally arbitrary way to determine the autarkic (...)
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    Impersonal Envy and the Fair Division of Resources.Kristi A. Olson - 2018 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (3):269-292.
    Suppose you and I are dividing a cake between us. If you divide and I choose, then—under standard assumptions—the distribution will be not only fair, but also envy-free. That is, neither of us prefers the other slice. The question that interests me in this essay, however, is the relationship between envy and fairness. Specifically, is it merely a coincidence that the envy-free distribution is fair, or does envy-freeness capture something important about fairness? I argue that envy-freeness does indeed capture something (...)
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  4. Our Choices, Our Wage Gap?Kristi A. Olson - 2012 - Philosophical Topics 40 (1):45-61.
    According to recent empirical studies, much, if not all, of the gender wage gap is attributable to individual choice. Women tend to choose lower-paying jobs and to prioritize family over career while men tend to do the opposite. This has led some policymakers to conclude that the gender wage gap does not require rectification. Although feminists have typically responded by refuting the empirical claim, I argue in this essay that they should also refute the normative claim. In particular, individual choice (...)
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    Solving Which Trilemma? The Many Interpretations of Equality, Pareto, and Freedom of Occupational Choice.Kristi A. Olson - 2017 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (3):282-307.
    According to the trilemma claim, we cannot have all three of equality, Pareto, and freedom of occupational choice. In response to the trilemma, John Rawls famously sacrificed equality by introducing incentives. In contrast, GA Cohen and others argued that we can, in fact, have all three provided that individuals are properly motivated by an egalitarian ethos. The incentives debate, then, concerns the plausibility of the ethos solution versus the plausibility of the incentives solution. Considerable ink has been spilled on both (...)
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  6. The Solidarity Solution: Principles for a Fair Income Distribution.Kristi A. Olson - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    In this book Kristi A. Olson addresses the question of fair labor income distribution by proposing the solidarity solution, a new test she defines and defends. She takes as her starting point the envy test, discussed by the philosophers Ronald Dworkin and Philippe Van Parijs and by the economists Jan Tinbergen, Hal Varian, Marc Fleurbaey, Duncan Foley, and Serge-Christophe Kolm. According to the envy test, a distribution is fair when no one prefers someone else's circumstances to their own. After rejecting (...)
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