Friday, December 7, 2018
Zachary Liscow (Yale) presented Moral Commitments & Inequality: A Dilemma at Michigan on Wednesday as part of its Tax Policy Workshop Series hosted by Reuven Avi-Yonah:
The standard approach in law and economics is to ignore lay moral commitments to fairness and instead focus on adopting efficient policies to maximize the size of the economic pie and then redistributing with cash taxes and transfers. But many ordinary people do not think that way. Rather, they have policy-specific moral commitments. This Article discusses the dilemma these moral commitments create for policy to address income inequality. Many traditions suggest the importance of considering fairness in policy design. This Article argues that there are many reasons that law and economics, as economics, should consider moral commitments in policy design.
Otherwise, with too narrow a view, law and economics is severely handicapped in helping to understand how to address today’s crisis of inequality.