Equality of resources, risk, and the ideal market
Keywords:the market, risk, Dworkin, distributive justice, hypothetical insurance, equality of resources, luck egalitarianism
Ronald Dworkin's theory of equality of resources makes extensive use of markets. I show that all these markets rely on one specific neoclassical conception of the ideal market in full equilibrium, as analyzed by Debreu. This market must be understood as operating under circumstances of certainty, and this is incompatible with several components of Dworkin's account. In particular, it does not allow one to hold people responsible for their option luck, and it implies a high social safety net rather than insurance schemes for addressing brute luck. I conclude by outlining an interpretation of equality of resources that takes the ideal market seriously.