Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program

Political Science


English (en)

Date of Award

Summer 9-1-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Frank Lovett


In this dissertation I examine the normative implications of different motivational strategies when applied to address the behavioral obstacles of various redistributive schemes, in particular, in the case of income redistribution policies and the provision of essential services. I intend to show that negative inducements can have some advantages with reference to other motivational instruments. For example, negative inducements are often the main motivational strategies behind conditional welfare policies. I argue against the view that conditional welfare policies are always hostile to the poor and the less fortunate. Moreover, I explain why redistributive schemes whose benefits are tied to specified patterns of behavior do not necessarily constitute a betrayal of progressive ideals. I defend the claim that there is nothing intrinsically wrong in setting behavioral conditions on aid, although care must be taken in doing so. This is against the view that unconditional welfare policies are less normatively troubling than conditional ones since the former impose fewer or no behavioral conditions on their recipients.


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