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Equitable allocations and the case for access

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Reviews some recent neoclassical-economic writing on equitable allocation of resources and inquires whether this approach to equity might lead to a case for a right to access, particularly with respect to medical care. The common logic of this literature is that equal access to all goods and services is fair, but inefficient, so that a fairness-preserving shift to an efficient allocation could produce an allocation that is both efficient and fair. It seems, however, that this supports "rights to access" only where the person deprived of access would lack information necessary to determine whether compensation for the deprivation might be due. Medical care does seem to be a case in point.
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Keywords: Access control; Equity; Literature

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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