Moving toward fairness : essays on the normative aspects of socioeconomic mobility
- This dissertation considers how societies ought to evaluate and respond to changes over time in their members' social and economic status, often referred to as social and economic mobility. In particular, it identifies a normatively interesting tension at the heart of mobility and attempt to resolve it. It is widely agreed that upward relative mobility is desirable, in part because it allows those who are currently disadvantaged a chance to improve their lot. But it is also widely believed that downward mobility is undesirable. Yet upward relative mobility requires downward relative mobility: just as not every child in Lake Wobegon can be above average, not every individual in a society with relative mobility can maintain her position in the economic hierarchy. The first two essays in this dissertation argue that when ensuring relative mobility and pursuing other important aims conflicts with preventing downward mobility, the latter aim should in general give way. The first does so by reviewing and normatively critiquing existing policies, such as unemployment insurance and asset protection in bankruptcy law, that distinctively protect individuals against downward mobility; the second, meanwhile, examines the normative questions that downward mobility raises through the prism of a specific, prominent approach within political philosophy: John Rawls's theory of justice. Another question the dissertation examines concerns the reasons why relative social and economic mobility (i.e. individuals, households, or families changing places over time in the economic distribution) might be desirable. Many politicians and policymakers have stressed the importance of relative mobility, and much empirical research on relative mobility has been carried out by economists and sociologists. However, the normative implications of relative mobility remain largely underexplored. The third essay explores these implications, examining connections between mobility and various forms of equality as well as between mobility and economic efficiency.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Persad, Govind C, Mr
|Stanford University, Department of Philosophy.
|Kelman, Mark G, 1951-
|Kelman, Mark G, 1951-
|Statement of responsibility
|Govind C. Persad.
|Submitted to the Department of Philosophy.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2015.
- © 2015 by Govind C Persad
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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