Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Economic theory and social justice

Johnson, Joseph (2006): Economic theory and social justice.

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Abstract

Is justice individualistic or both individualistic andsocial? Opposite views on this question include von Hayek, who said that `social justice' was an oxymoron, and the late Holy Father who, in Sollicitudo Rei Socialis said that some socio-economic institutions can have`structures of sin' in their architectures. The Old Testament prophets have been interpreted either way! Using results from the Capital Controversy in economic theory, Sen's work on famines, and the Parsonian theory of the institution, we show that the `social'-justice dimension of an individual act is where its justice is unintelligible in merely individualistic terms, but requires institutional analysis.

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