The Economics of Justice

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



This chapter reviews important contributions to justice research in economics with an emphasis on empirical findings that bear on leading theories of justice. We consider evidence from both incentivized economics experiments and self-reported surveys and explore their relation to justice theories that have been treated in both the descriptive and prescriptive branches of economics. We discuss theories of and evidence on different approaches, including equality, efficiency, equity (or proportionality), desert (or merit), context, and pluralism (or multi-criterion justice), and explore very recent findings on the relationship between fairness and risk-taking.