Beyond income distribution: an entitlement systems approach to the acquirement problem

Bas de Gaay Fortman

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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The focus of this working paper is the problematique that lies beyond income distribution. Significantly, behind the same amount of income, we may find entirely different claiming positions. Looking beyond concrete claims, we see distinct sets of rights and duties which might be typified as entitlement positions.
Entitlement positions constitute the core of socio-economic security. Amartya Sen speaks of legal channels of acquirement. Acquirement is to be understood as the practice of getting access to the necessary resources and acquiring the goods and services needed. “The acquirement problem', Sen has observed, 'is often neglected not only by non-economists, but also by many economists, including some great ones'.
This paper takes an entitlement systems approach to the acquirement problem. After a review of the state of the art in economic theory of income distribution entitlement systems analysis will be used as a response to the challenge of understanding the dynamics that lie behind human poverty. It is based on an effort to perceive the role of law in society in relation to institutional arrangements.
The significance of entitlement systems analysis will be demonstrated in regard to the problematique of development. Finally, a concluding section will focus on the test of operationalising entitlement systems approaches to the acquirement problem.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages48
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997

Publication series

SeriesISS working papers. General series


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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