Economics and Philosophy 29 (2):155-174 (2013)

Fernando Aguiar
Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Científicas
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.
Keywords Distributive Justice  Experimental Philosophy  Experimental Economics  Impartiality
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DOI 10.1017/S0266267113000175
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What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.Edward N. Zalta (ed.) - 2004 - Stanford, CA: The Metaphysics Research Lab.
Ethical Absolutism and the Ideal Observer.Roderick Firth - 1951 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 12 (3):317-345.

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The Rawls–Harsanyi Dispute: A Moral Point of View.Michael Moehler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (1):82-99.

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