Defining fairness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter considers some fairness requirements inspired by responsibility-sensitive egalitarianism. It begins with a simple example in which a 'natural' solution offers itself as almost self-evident, but shows that this solution actually involves two different ethical principles: the compensation principle and the liberal reward principle. The compensation principle can be expressed in conditions of equality or maximin of well-being for individuals with identical responsibility characteristics, or of solidarity in well-being with respect to changes of circumstances. The liberal reward principle can be expressed in conditions of equality of resources for individuals with identical circumstances, or of independence of resources with respect to changes in responsibility characteristics. Many of these conditions are intimately linked to, sometimes directly derived from, the no-envy test, which therefore embodies the compensation principle and the liberal reward principle to a significant extent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFairness, Responsibility, and Welfare
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191808579
ISBN (Print)9780199215911
StatePublished - Apr 30 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


  • Compensation principle
  • Egalitarianism
  • Equality
  • Fairness
  • Liberal reward principle
  • No-envy test
  • Responsibility
  • Well-being


Dive into the research topics of 'Defining fairness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this