Recasting Egalitarianism: New Rules for Communities, States and Markets

Front Cover
Two prominent economists lead a debate to redistribute wealth. In Recasting Egalitarianism, part of Verso's Real Utopias series, economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis diagnose the current malaise of the Left as a result of the obsolescence of its traditional economic models. They propose to rejuvenate the egalitarian project through a strategy of asset-based redistribution, drawing in novel ways on markets, competition, state regulation and community governance. In this major work on economic and social policy, the authors address the twin challenges posed by a globally integrated economy and the key economic roles now played by information, motivation, and other intangibles. They propose an egalitarian redistribution of assets - land, capital, and housing - and argue for the beneficial disciplining effects of competition both in markets and among publicly-funded service providers, pointing out that the injustices commonly associated with markets can be avoided if assets are more equally distributed. The lead essay in the book lays out the underlying logic of this proposal in some detail. This is followed by responses by critics and supporters. Contributors include: Harry Brighouse, Michael Carter, Steve Durlauf, Paula England, David Gordon, Daniel M. Hausman, Karla Hoff, Andrew Levine, Elaine McCrate, Karl Ove Moen, Ugo Pagano, John E. Roomer, Peter Skott, Michael Wallerstein, Erik Olin Wright.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


New Rules for Markets States
Problems with Supplyside Egalitarianism
Equality Community and Efficient Redistribution
Which Norms? How Much Gain? Two Reasons to Limit
Norms and Efficiency
Efficiency Politics
Theoretical Considerations
An Empirical Glimpse of
The Limits of Privatepropertybased Egalitarianism
Redistribution of Assets Versus Redistribution of Income
The Crisis of Egalitarian Policy and the Promises
A Defense
Redistributions of Assets and Distributions of Asymmetric
On the Economics of Realizing and Sustaining the Efficient
A Perspective
Recasting Egalitarianism

Paula England

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

Samuel Bowles is an American economist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Herbert Gintis is an American behavioral scientist, educator, and author. He is currently Professor at the Central European University and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

Erik Olin Wright is Vilas Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of many books, including Classes, Interrogating Inequality, Class Counts, Deepening Democracy (with Archon Fung), and Envisioning Real Utopias. For more information on Envisioning Real Utopias and the Real Utopias project, and to access book content, please visit (site in progress).

John E. Roemer is the Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Professor of Political Science and Economics. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and has been a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Bibliographic information