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School of Economics and Finance

No. 900: Sufficientarianism

José Carlos R. Alcantud , University of Salamanca
Marco Mariotti , Queen Mary University London
Roberto Veneziani , Queen Mary University London

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Abstract

Suflicientarianism is a prominent approach in political philosophy and in policy analyses. However, it is virtually absent from the formal normative economics liter­ature. We analyse suflicientarianism axiomatically in the context of the allocation of opportunities (formalised as chances of success). We characterise the core sufli­cientarian criterion, which counts the number of agents who attain a "good enough" chance of success. The characterising axioms shed new light on the key ethical con­stituents of suflicientarianism: they express a liberal principle of non-interference, a form of minimal respect for equality, and a form of separability across individuals. Given the large indifference classes inbuilt in the core version, we also discuss two alternative social opportunity relations that refine the suflicientarian intuitions: the multi-threshold suflicientarian ordering and an incomplete relation focusing only on the suflicientarian strict preferences

J.E.L classification codes: D63; D70

Keywords:opportunities, chances of success, suflicientarianism