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Distributional implications of contemporary Judeo-Christian economics

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Abstract:

Distributional issues have re-emerged as an important issue in economics, social science, and philosophy in the last few decades. In the same period, the relevance of derivative Judeo-Christian socio-economic principles to the contemporary world has been (re)asserted, developing an incipient Judeo-Christian economics. Methodologically, this undertaking is comparable to that underlying the evolution of Islamic and other forms of religious economics. The methodology employed in the Judeo-Christian undertaking is described via a worked example. The example shows how normative principles can be derived from Judeo-Christian thought allegedly relevant to shaping the contemporary distribution of wealth and income. The principles are deduced from a particular sub-set of Judeo-Christian source material, and have the effect of generating greater equity in economic distribution. The deductions are compared with selected ideas canvassed in recent economics' discussion about inequitable distribution concerning appropriate criteria for guiding redistributional policy, ideas of "equal opportunity" vs "equal outcomes", and the relation between distribution and economic growth.

Keywords: Christianity; Distribution of Wealth; Economics; Equality; Judaism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03068290410555390

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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