Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/36675
Authors: 
Aguiar, Fernando
Becker, Alice
Miller, Luis M.
Year of Publication: 
2010
Series/Report no.: 
Jena economic research papers 2010,040
Abstract: 
This article defines in a precise manner three different mechanisms to achieve impartiality in distributive justice and studies them experimentally. We consider a first-person procedure, the Rawlsian veil of ignorance, and two third-party procedures, the impartial spectator and the ideal observer. As a result, we find striking differences in the chosen outcome distributions by the three methods. Ideal observers that do not have a stake in the allocation problem nor information about their position in society propose significantly more egalitarian distributions than veiled stakeholders or impartial spectators. Risk preferences seem to explain why participants that have a stake in the final allocation propose less egalitarian distributions. Impartial spectators that are informed about their position in society tend to favor stakeholders holding the same position.
Subjects: 
impartiality
veil of ignorance
impartial spectator
distributive justice
JEL: 
C72
C92
D63
A13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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