325.3 Intra- and interpersonal risk trade-offs

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 1:30 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Marko AHTEENSUU , Public Choice Research Centre (PCRC), University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Moral intuitions about intra- and interpersonal risk trade-offs diverge. While merely weighing possible benefits against costs seems justified in a single person case, the same does not apply when the costs fall on one person and benefits on another. This poses a well-known problem to utilitarian theories which aggregate (expected) gains and losses without concern to distributional matters. Several other moral theories that pay heed to distributional matters, it has recently been argued, also face difficulties to accommodate these intuitions. In my talk I will apply specific versions of prioritarianism, egalitarianism and contractualism to a concrete case, and provide new insight into the question whether – and if so, how – the differences in the intuitions can be accounted for with a consistent underlying moral theory or set of principles. Practical implications for risk analysis will briefly be discussed.