The Prince and the Pauper: Fairness Through Thick and Thin Veils of Ignorance

24 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2014

See all articles by Chee Kian Leong

Chee Kian Leong

University of Nottingham, Ningbo China

Date Written: July 31, 2014

Abstract

This paper uses a twin construct to test how the thickness of the veil of ignorance (VOI) affects the perception of fairness and redistributional choices. A fortune reversal is generally perceived to be fair behind a thick VOI, but deemed unfair behind a transparent VOI, particularly if one is currently in a stronger social position. A significant association exists between the perception of fairness and the certainty levels about social position. A 50-50 split is preferred with thicker VOI; whilst the status quo is favoured with thinner VOI. Regardless of the VOI’s thickness, few opt for a winner-take-all redistribution.

Keywords: veil of ignorance, fairness

JEL Classification: D630, D640, C990

Suggested Citation

Leong, Chee Kian, The Prince and the Pauper: Fairness Through Thick and Thin Veils of Ignorance (July 31, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2483646 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2483646

Chee Kian Leong (Contact Author)

University of Nottingham, Ningbo China ( email )

199 Taikang East Road
Ningbo, Zhejiang 315100
China

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