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Freedom justice

Working Paper 2009-120


The most general and central principle of social and economic optimality and justice is shown to be equal freedom. The standard and central case is that of freedom valued for the choice it permits. Allocations abiding by this principle are characterized, with the main structures of constraints and possibilities and the main alternatives as regards the corresponding entitlements and accountabilities. When such first best equal freedom is not possible or cannot be efficient or in the core, second-best freedom egalitarian principles are defined, notably in the category of freedom maximins. These solutions rest on the properties of freedom comparisons and of freedom-ordered allocations.

Authors: Serge-Christophe Kolm.