Egalitarian Liberalism and Economic Freedom

Pierce Randall, University of Pennsylvania


This dissertation considers three major challenges to egalitarian liberal institutions made by classical liberals: that egalitarian liberal institutions involve too much coercive interference with individual economic decisions, that free markets tend to do better at rewarding people on the basis of their economic choices, and that only by recognizing full liberal rights of ownership can a society best promote a stable property regime consistent with our pre-political conventions of ownership. Each of these objections fails, but they point to an underlying concern that egalitarian liberal institutions fail to adequately protect economic freedom. The dissertation then develops and defends a conception of economic freedom that is reflected in egalitarian liberal institutions. Economic freedom depends on the quality and availability of options individuals have in markets, especially the quality of exit options available to avoid coercive or exploitative conditions of employment or exchange. It then extends this view to the idea of property-owning democracy and worker-ownership of firms.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Randall, Pierce, "Egalitarian Liberalism and Economic Freedom" (2019). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI27547766.