This book presents fifteen essays, written over the past dozen years, on egalitarianism. The essays explore contemporary philosophical debates on this subject, using the tools of modern economic theory, general equilibrium theory, game theory, and the theory of mechanism design. Egalitarian Perspectives is divided into four parts: the theory of exploitation; equality of resources; bargaining theory and distributive justice; and market socialism and public ownership. The first part presents Roemer's influential reconceptualisation of the Marxian theory of exploitation as a theory of distributive justice. The second part offers a critique of Ronald Dworkin's equality-of-resources theory, and puts forward a new egalitarian proposal based upon a specific method of measuring individual responsibility. The third part introduces a novel application of the theory of mechanism design to the study of political philosophy, and raises new concerns about the limitations of that application. The fourth part presents the author's views on market socialism and public ownership, and demonstrates that Professor Roemer is at the forefront of refining new theories and conceptions of market socialism.
Introduction; Part I. Exploitation: 1. Exploitation, alternatives, and socialism; 2. Property relations vs. surplus value in Marxian exploitation; 3. Should Marxists be interested in exploitation?; 4. What is exploitation? Reply to Jeffrey Reiman; 5. Second thoughts on property relations and exploitation; Part II. Equality of Resources: 6. Equality of talent; 7. Egalitarianism, responsibility, and information; 8. A pragmatic theory of responsibility for the egalitarian planner; Part III. Bargaining Theory and Justice: 9. The mismarriage of bargaining theory and distributive justice; 10. A challenge to Neo-Lockeanism; 11. Informational complexity in axiomatic models: benefits and costs; 12. Distributing health: the allocation of resources by an international agency; Part IV. Public Ownership and Socialism: 13. On public ownership; 14. The morality and efficiency of market socialism; 15. A future for socialism.