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

  • Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah

We implement the Rawlsian veil of ignorance in the laboratory. Our design allows analyzing the effects of risk and social preferences behind the veil of ignorance. Behind the veil of ignorance subjects choose more equal distributions than in front of the veil, but only a minority acts according to maximin preferences. Many subjects prefer more equal allocations not only for insurance purposes but also due to impartial social preferences for equality. Our results imply that behind the veil of ignorance maximin preferences are compatible with any degree of risk aversion if impartial social preferences for equality are sufficiently strong.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2010)
Issue (Month): 11-12 (December)
Pages: 1062-1066

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:11-12:p:1062-1066
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