A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics
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A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics

Edited by Francesco Forte, Ram Mudambi and Pietro Maria Navarra

This comprehensive and thought-provoking Handbook reviews public sector economics from pluralist perspectives that either complement or reach beyond mainstream views. The book takes a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach, drawing on economic elements in the fields of philosophy, sociology, psychology, history and law.
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Chapter 6: Theories of justice and empirical results

Manfred J. Holler and Martin A. Leroch


In the 2011 edition of the World Development Report, the World Bank focuses on 'Conflict, Security, and Development'. Motivation for this topic is the insight that current conflicts hinder economic and social development in many countries of the world. More specifically, the authors find that 'poverty is declining for much of the world, but countries affected by violence are lagging behind. For every three years a country is affected by major violence [. . .], poverty reduction lags behind by 2.7 percentage points' (World Bank, 2011, p. 4). In contrast to earlier conflicts, most of the violent encounters today do not take place between nations, but within nations. Also, many countries face a vicious cycle of violence. Fighting does not simply stop. It may pause, but is likely to be taken up over and over again. Owing some empirical credit to the philosophical insights of Thomas Hobbes, the World Development Report conveys the message that strong (legitimate) institutions and governance as well as positive economic prospects on the individual level in the form of, for example, jobs are important to secure peace. But the report also points towards the importance of securing justice. Violations of justice, which includes the existence of inequality and corruption, are found to be primary causes for conflict, besides low individual levels of economic welfare.

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