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Whose Impartiality? An Experimental Study Of Veiled Stakeholders, Involved Spectators And Detached Observers

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  • Aguiar, Fernando
  • Becker, Alice
  • Miller, Luis

Abstract

We present an experiment designed to investigate three different mechanisms to achieve impartiality in distributive justice. We consider a first-person procedure, inspired by the Rawlsian veil of ignorance, and two third-party procedures, an involved spectator and a detached observer. First-person veiled stakeholders and involved spectators are affected by an initially unfair distribution that, in the stakeholders’ case, is to be redressed. We find substantial differences in the redressing task. Detached observers propose significantly fairer redistributions than veiled stakeholders or involved spectators. Risk preferences partly explain why veiled stakeholders propose less egalitarian redistributions. Surprisingly, involved spectators, who are informed about their position in society, tend to favour stakeholders holding the same position as they do after the initial distribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Aguiar, Fernando & Becker, Alice & Miller, Luis, 2013. "Whose Impartiality? An Experimental Study Of Veiled Stakeholders, Involved Spectators And Detached Observers," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 155-174, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:ecnphi:v:29:y:2013:i:02:p:155-174_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Erik Schokkaert & Benoît Tarroux, 2021. "Empirical research on ethical preferences: how popular is prioritarianism?," Working Papers halshs-03110312, HAL.
    2. Mollerstrom, Johanna & Reme, Bjørn-Atle & Sørensen, Erik Ø., 2015. "Luck, choice and responsibility — An experimental study of fairness views," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 33-40.
    3. Daniel Müller & Sander Renes, 2017. "Fairness views and political preferences - Evidence from a large online experiment," Working Papers 2017-10, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    4. Daniel Müller & Sander Renes, 2021. "Fairness views and political preferences: evidence from a large and heterogeneous sample," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 56(4), pages 679-711, May.
    5. Müller Daniel & Sander Renes, 2019. "Fairness Views and Political Preferences - Evidence from a representative sample," Working Papers 2019-08, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    6. Marja-Liisa Halko & Topi Miettinen, 2017. "From ideals to deals—The effect of impartiality experience on stakeholder behavior," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(8), pages 1-16, August.
    7. Wolf, Stephan & Dron, Cameron, 2020. "The effect of an experimental veil of ignorance on intergenerational resource sharing: empirical evidence from a sequential multi-person dictator game," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 175(C).

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