DFG Research Group „Need-based justice and distribution procedures (FOR 2104)“

The overall project

The aim of the research unit „Needs-Based Distribution and Distribution Procedures“ is to provide input for a positive and an informed normative theory of needs-based distribution procedures based on experimental evidence. This theory intends to answer four questions, (i) how individuals identify needs and which distributions are considered sufficient for the identified needs, (ii) what is recognized on a collective level as a needs-based distribution and how the process of needs-recognition occurs, (iii) which dynamic the collective recognition process unfolds in the sense of an (un-)stable political agreement, (iv) which incentive-triggered consequences arise from the collective to the individual level and whether a needs-based redistribution is sustainable. We suggest that the principle of needs-based distribution minimizes the tension between selfish und strategically influenced distribution preferences (social preferences) and ethically reflected principles of justice, if the recognition of needs is done in a transparent manner (social objectification) and available information is used optimally with expertise (factual objectification). The answers for the four questions are therefore based on two main hypotheses which will be tested: The transparency hypothesis assumes that the individual and collective acceptance of the distribution result increases with greater transparency of decision-making processes for the recognition of needs. Similarly, the expert hypothesis assumes that the objectification of needs-recognition decisions through the use of expertise increases the approval of the result. Eight interdisciplinary sub-projects are devoted to each of the four research questions from the perspective of one of the two main hypotheses.




Sponsoring Institution

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Applicant Sub-Project B2

Prof. Dr. Markus Tepe
University of Oldenburg