The Justice of Distributing Scarce and Abundant Resources

  • Jerald Greenberg
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


Questions as to the fairest way of allocating resources arise in all social activities, and the way these ubiquitious questions are answered can have critical, widereaching impact on the individuals concerned and on society in general. The profundity of such questions comes into clear focus when the supply of resources in question is inadequate to meet all claims. Examples range from seemingly ordinary matters of allocating journal pages to authors (Latané, 1979) or deciding which little leaguers will get to play baseball, through more far-reaching concerns of how gasoline will be rationed (Pauly & Walcott, 1979) or whether veterans should be given preferences for civil service hiring (Labich, LaBrecque, & Camper, 1979). Consider also the tragic choices of who will be drafted into the armed services (U.S. National Advisory Commission on Selective Service, 1967), which women should bear children (Berelson, 1974), or who will be given access to hemodialysis machines and other scarce medical resources (Katz, 1973; “Scarce Medical Resources,” 1969).


Scarce Resource Distributive Justice Relative Deprivation Abundant Resource Experimental Social Psychology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerald Greenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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