Priority to the furthest behind

CDP Background Paper No. 42

By Marc Fleurbaey

The UN Resolution heralding the Sustainable Development Goals pledges to leave no one behind, and moreover "to reach the furthest behind first". This priority echoes the priority to the worst-off that is being discussed in philosophy, economics and related disciplines, but also the pleas of many actors who represent or fight for the most disadvantaged populations. This paper argues that serious theories do support such a priority and that the best policies implementing this priority do not necessarily involve the most intuitive anti-poverty targeted measures.

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