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Is the veil of ignorance only a concept about risk? An experiment

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  • Hörisch, Hannah

Abstract

We implement the Rawlsian thought experiment of a veil of ignorance in the laboratory which introduces risk and possibly social preferences. We find that both men and women react to the risk introduced by the veil of ignorance. Only the women additionally exhibit social preferences that reflect an increased concern for equality. Our results for women imply that maximin preferences can also be derived from a combination of some, not necessarily infinite risk aversion and social preferences. This result contrasts the Utilitarians' claim that maximin preferences necessarily represent preferences with infinite risk aversion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 1362.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:1362

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Keywords: veil of ignorance; social preferences; equality; efficiency; experiment;

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. What distribution principle would you choose behind a veil of ignorance?
    by Winton Bates in Freedom and Flourishing on 2010-10-11 05:02:00
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Cited by:
  1. Riedl A.M. & Cettolin E., 2013. "Justice under uncertainty," Research Memorandum 036, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
  2. Leonardo Becchetti & Giacomo Degli Antoni & Stefania Ottone & Nazaria Solferino, 2011. "Spectators versus stakeholders with or without veil of ignorance: The difference it makes for justice and chosen distribution criteria," Working Papers 204, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00469112 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, Heiner & Winter, Joachim, 2014. "Professional norms and physician behavior: homo oeconomicus or homo hippocraticus?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 456, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  5. John Bone & Paolo Crosetto & John D. Hey & Carmen Pasca, 2013. "Change versus choice: eliciting attitudes to fair compensations," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-029, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  6. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00593973 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Leonardo Becchetti & Giacomo Degli Antoni & Stefania Ottone & Nazaria Solferino, 2011. "Allocation criteria under task performance: the gendered preference for protection," Econometica Working Papers wp32, Econometica.
  8. Francesco Farina & Gianluca Grimalda, 2011. "A cross-country experimental comparison of preferences for redistribution," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 0211, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.
  9. Bolle, Friedel & Liepmann, Hannah & Vogel, Claudia, 2012. "How much social insurance do you want? An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1170-1181.

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