The problem of economic liberty can be understood along two dimensions: the first concerns what significance economic liberties should have; the second concerns why they should have this significance. The significance of a liberty is a function of two variables; weight and scope. The weight of a liberty is the importance it should be accorded in political deliberation vis-a-vis other societal considerations that might inform the exercise of political authority. The weightier the liberty, the more significant it is, meaning that fewer or stronger societal considerations can justify regulating the sphere of agency protected by this liberty.
Copyright © 2015 Cambridge University Press. This book chapter first appeared in The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism.
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von Platz, Jeppe and John Tomasi. "Liberalism and Economic Liberty." In The Cambridge Companion to Liberalism, edited by Steven Wall, 261-281. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.