Ethical principles that make the world and its economy more equal

Hengameh Hosseini, Hamid Hosseini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


No doubt, the global economic (and political) structure is very unequal. The paper begins by demonstrating the various dimensions of this inequality as they relate to economic measures such as per capita GDP, degree of consumption and ownership, health measures, education, and power and influence in various global organizations such as the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and others. Next, the paper, supporting a more equal global economic and political structure, investigates the various instruments in welfare economies and ethics theory that can be utilized to justify a sort of distributional change that could lead to more global equality. Finding various economic and ethical instruments associated with utilitarianism, Pareto Optimality and the Hicks–Kaldor compensation test less than satisfactory in dealing with and advocating sufficient global distributional changes, we will investigate ethical principles developed by John Rawls in both his 1971 The Theory of Justice and his 1999 The Law of Peoples, Sen's capability approach, the debate between Rawls and Sen regarding their ethical principles, and whether or not those ethical principles can justify necessary global distributional changes. As we will argue, although the principles developed by Sen and Rawls can be utilized to justify global distributional changes to a degree, they cannot advocate a global difference principle that can justify sufficient global distributional changes. Attempt is made to develop a global difference principle that can justify and advocate more drastic distributional changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-166
Number of pages25
JournalForum for Social Economics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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