DP13342 | The Half Life of Economic Injustice

Author(s)

Publication Date

11/29/2018

JEL Code(s)

Keyword(s)

Programme Area(s)

Network(s)

Abstract

How much of today's income (GDP) is a result of unjust economic transactions? How much is a legacy of past acquisition of wealth (capital) which was itself unjust? To answer that question requires two things: first, a principle to determine what is, and what is not, a just acquisition of wealth or a just source of income; second, a means of using that principle to estimate what fraction of wealth and income is unjust. I use a principle put forward by Robert Nozick to provide the first of these things and then use some calculations based on standard neoclassical models of economic growth to illustrate its implications for the scale of unfairness today.