A Choice Modelling Approach
1. Distribution and environmental policy 1.0 Introduction The question of a ‘fair’ allocation is one with which we all grapple in many contexts. For those in decision-making positions such as policy-makers, teachers and parents, it involves the difficult task of weighing up competing claims. These claims may be presented on the basis of allowing for special needs, compensating for handicaps, rewarding additional effort or striving for equality. Economists are well aware that, as a society, we are not able to meet the unlimited wants of each individual. The fundamental issue of scarcity necessitates decisions about allocation. The questions of how resources are used as efficiently as possible to maximize the well-being of people and how the distribution of resources is made ‘equitably’ are fundamental questions in economics. This book focuses on the latter question – that is, the equity or distributional aspect of economic analysis. The complexity of the notion of social justice confounds research into the equity principles and preferences held by the community. As will be discussed in Chapter 2, it is assumed that each individual has distributional preferences which can be interpreted in a social welfare ordering. Social welfare preferences may be based on a variety of justice principles. General ethical principles under lying discussions about fair allocation fall into several categories. The principles either formulate more specific interpretations of utilitarianism, where the wellbeing of each individual is summed, or apply alternative or complementary ethical frameworks (Banuri et al. 1996). For example, distributional preferences may be based on...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.