Fair for All: Making Room for Fairness in the Globalised Economy

Benjamin Ferguson's Veni project "Fair for All: Making Room for Fairness in the Globalised Economy" considers how we should balance increases in individual welfare that are generated through economic transactions with the distribution of this welfare between those involved in the transaction. If Alice employs Bob and thereby significantly increases Bob's income, is it morally problematic if Alice keeps the majority of the economic gains that this arrangement generates? Although the moral theory called 'welfarism' states that what matters is how well off people are in a given situation, most people's moral intuitions are that this is not all that matters. How this welfare is distributed is morally important as well. 

In order to properly evaluate the moral status of, e.g., high pharmaceutical prices, sweatshop labour, or the distribution of burdens and benefits between genders in domestic situations we require an alternative to welfarism that makes room for fairness. The project aims to develop a theory of fair transaction that is sensitive to both welfare levels and welfare distribution that can be applied to these and similar cases. For more information, see the project homepage here.