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The specific value of freedom

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This article examines the question of how to assess our overall freedom in terms of its so-called specific value, i.e., the part of its value that can be reduced to the value of the various specific things we are free to do or be. It is argued that existing preference-based freedom rankings may fail to capture this value adequately and, drawing on earlier work by Puppe (J Econ Theory 68:174-199, 1996; in: Laslier et al. (eds.) Freedom in economics. New perspectives in normative analysis, 1998) and Puppe and Xu (Soc Choice Welf, this issue, 2010), an alternative, more general framework is proposed. Two rankings of freedom's specific value are axiomatically characterized. The article concludes with a discussion of possible extensions of the framework. © 2010 The Author(s).




van Hees, M. (2010). The specific value of freedom. Social Choice and Welfare, 35(4), 687–703.

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