Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics <p>The Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics (EJPE) is a peer-reviewed bi-annual academic journal located at <a href="">Erasmus University Rotterdam</a>. EJPE publishes research on the methodology, history, ethics, and interdisciplinary relations of economics.</p> en-US (Erica Yu) (Erica Yu) Fri, 26 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 OJS 60 Review of Olúfemi O Táíwò’s Reconsidering Reparations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022, x + 261 pp. Josep Recasens Copyright (c) 2023 Josep Recasens Thu, 14 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Review of Josiah Ober’s The Greeks and the Rational: The Discovery of Practical Reason. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2022, xxv + 425 pp. Bob van Velthoven Copyright (c) 2023 Bob van Velthoven Thu, 14 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Review of Thomas Piketty’s A Brief History of Equality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2022, viii + 288 pp. Ross Emmett Copyright (c) 2023 Ross Emmett Tue, 09 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 Review of André et al.’s From Evolutionary Biology to Economics and Back: Parallels and Crossings between Economics and Evolution. Cham: Springer, 2022, xi + 186 pp. Ahmed Al-Juhany Copyright (c) 2023 Ahmed Al-Juhany Tue, 09 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 Review of Mark Fabian’s A Theory of Subjective Wellbeing. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2022, x + 305 pp. Willem van der Deijl Copyright (c) 2023 Willem van der Deijl Tue, 09 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 Review of Thomas Kelly’s Bias: A Philosophical Study. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022, x + 288 pp. Lennart B. Ackermans Copyright (c) 2023 Lennart B. Ackermans Tue, 23 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 The Partially Impartial Spectator <p>According to Adam Smith, we appeal to the imagined reactions of an ‘impartial spectator’ when justifying moral judgements of others and aspire to be impartial spectators when making judgements of ourselves. However, psychological research has shown that trying to be impartial will often have the paradoxical effect of reinforcing other-directed prejudice and self-serving bias. I argue that we can get around this problem by aspiring to be ‘partially impartial spectators’ instead.</p> Sveinung Sundfør Sivertsen Copyright (c) 2023 Sveinung Sundfør Sivertsen Thu, 14 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0100 The Singular Plurality of Social Goods Marco Emilio Copyright (c) 2023 Marco Emilio Thu, 14 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Defining Exploitation Ulysse Lojkine Copyright (c) 2023 Ulysse Lojkine Tue, 02 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 Sharing in Common Yara Al Salman Copyright (c) 2023 Yara Al Salman Tue, 09 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 Anodyne Privatization <p>Privatization of state services has been a flashpoint for political conflict over the past several decades. The goal of this paper is to explain why someone who is a supporter of the welfare state might also support the privatization of certain state services, in certain cases. Recent philosophical literature has focused on the most problematic privatization initiatives, especially the introduction of private prisons and military contractors. As a counterpoint, this paper describes a set of anodyne privatizations, understood as privatizations that no reasonable person could object to. The key step in this analysis involves showing that privatization is not a unitary phenomenon. There are different types of privatization, different degrees of privatization, and also different motives for privatization. There are also important normative differences between these initiatives, which might lead a reasonable person to support some but not others.</p> Joseph Heath Copyright (c) 2023 Joseph Heath Sat, 09 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Privatization, Structural Dependence, and the Problem of Legitimacy <p>How should a normative evaluation of the merits and demerits of privatization proceed? In response to Joseph Heath’s approach to this question, I first argue that the difference between core and economic functions is not as relevant to establish the limits of privatization, as Heath suggests. I claim, second, that Heath problematically neglects the structural and aggregative effects of privatization. An instance of privatization that, if analyzed in isolation, is anodyne may no longer be so when seen as a further contribution to an already expansive process of privatization. Finally, I argue that Heath fails to consider the risks that pervasive privatization poses in terms of democratic legitimacy, by giving rise to a situation where, on the one hand, citizens are dominated by a privatized state and, on the other hand, the state itself is dominated by private actors.</p> Chiara Cordelli Copyright (c) 2023 Chiara Cordelli Tue, 02 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 Repoliticizing Privatization <p>According to Joseph Heath, privatizations should be judged on a case-by-case basis with appeal to the Pareto criterion. This approach, or so I argue, amounts to a depoliticization of privatization. While Heath’s approach is effective and at times illuminating, I show that a consistent application of his methodology is self-defeating in that it eventually requires a politicization of privatization. With appeal to transaction cost theory, I show there are <em>social </em>costs associated with affirming the competitive pressures of the market. Subsequently, I argue that while private actors may, according to Heath, pursue efficiency with appeal to an adversarial morality, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are much more constrained in how they may achieve such gains. Due to the pressures of liberal neutrality, SOEs may chase efficiency only without setting actors back. Conversely, the private sector’s potential for success is predicated on its ability to compete for Kaldor-Hicks efficiency, which specifically allows for win-lose interactions. While SOEs are often no more able than the private sector to achieve Pareto optima, this discrepancy makes it so that SOEs produce gains that are ex-ante lower but more equal, whereas the private sector produces gains that are ex-ante higher but more unequal. Thus, the social cost of affirming the competitive pressures of the market is ex-ante inequality. If this premise is accepted, there is no way to avoid the conclusion that a consistent case-by-case approach requires a structural, political view on how privatizations affect the state’s ex-post Pareto-enhancing abilities.</p> Savriël Dillingh Copyright (c) 2023 Savriël Dillingh Mon, 08 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 Elements for a Normative Theory of Privatization <p>Heath’s paper on privatization defends a broadly welfarist-economic approach in thinking about the legitimacy of privatizations. This approach is ‘instrumentalist’ (in contrast to deontological approaches). In this response, I accept the value of an instrumentalist approach to privatization, but argue against Heath’s welfarist version of it, and argue in favor an alternative. First, the ends we seek when thinking about socially vital goods (our theory of public interests) should go beyond Pareto-efficiency. Second, as to the means we employ to realize these ends, we need a view of markets which takes into account not just their competitiveness, but also the distribution of power. This means we need to differentiate market types. Third, we need to differentiate ownership types beyond the standard shareholder-owned company. Alternative ownership structures may be able to realize public interests more easily and hence make privatization less problematic. On these three issues, the picture Heath sketches leaves out too many of the variables that, in the end, may be decisive in whether or not a privatization is acceptable.</p> Rutger Claassen Copyright (c) 2023 Rutger Claassen Tue, 23 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 Public Provision in Democratic Societies <p>If we hope to see values of equality and democracy embodied in our societies’ institutions, then we have a range of good reasons to favor expansive public provision of goods and services, and to oppose many forms of privatization. While Joseph Heath is right to argue that there are at least some forms of ‘anodyne privatization’, and while he is also right to argue for a more nuanced philosophical debate about the different dimensions of choice between forms of public and private provision, Heath fails to register various regards in which private provision can undermine these central public values. We often have strong egalitarian and democratic reasons to protect zones of decommodification; to resist the imposition of user-charges; and to favor insourcing and direct public procurement over various forms of outsourcing of public services. Public libraries provide a totemic illustration of some of the deep virtues of collective public provision in democratic societies. Overall, our reasons to reject privatization are stronger and more diverse than theorists such as Heath might have supposed.</p> Martin O’Neill Copyright (c) 2023 Martin O’Neill Fri, 26 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100 Ethics from the Outside Looking In Roger Crisp, Benjamin Mullins Copyright (c) 2023 Roger Crisp, Benjamin Mullins Thu, 14 Dec 2023 00:00:00 +0100 What Public Policy Can Be Matthew Adler, Måns Abrahamson, Akshath Jitendranath Copyright (c) 2023 Matthew Adler, Måns Abrahamson, Akshath Jitendranath Sun, 21 Jan 2024 00:00:00 +0100