The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

350. Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell, All Individuals May Be Made Worse Off under Any Nonwelfarist Principle, 02/2002.

Abstract: Nonwelfarist principles - notably, deontological principles - are often advanced to guide moral decisions. The types of choices addressed by such principles typically seem, on their face, to involve conflicts of interests among individuals. Nevertheless, it can be demonstrated that any nonwelfarist principle will, in some circumstances, favor choices that make all individuals worse off. For a variety of reasons, this conclusion has important implications for moral theories that are understood to support nonwelfarist principles.

350: PDF