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Louis Kaplow and Steven Shavell are talented and distinguished legal academics who for the past several years have been working jointly on a massive project in normative law and economics. The project's goal is to answer the question: What are the criteria by which legal policies (rules, standards, decisions, and other authoritative acts) ought to be assessed and proposals calling for their reform to be evaluated? In answering this question, they consider two normative frameworks--one defined by a concern for the impact of policies on human welfare, the other defined by a concern for various principles of fairness. Thus, the title of the book: Fairness Versus Welfare. There is no surprise ending, as from the outset Kaplow and Shavell are clear that they judge welfare the unambiguous winner of the competition.
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