CFDP 1477A

Impartiality and Priority. Part 1: The Veil of Ignorance


Publication Date: August 2004

Revision Date: February 2005

Pages: 29


The veil of ignorance has been used often as a tool for recommending what justice requires with respect to the distribution of wealth. We complete Harsanyi’s model of the veil of ignorance by appending information permitting interpersonal comparability of welfare. We show that the veil-of-ignorance conception of John Harsanyi, so completed, and Ronald Dworkin’s, when modeled formally, recommend wealth allocations in conflict with the prominently espoused view that priority should be given to the worse off with respect to wealth allocation.


Impartiality, Priority, Veil of ignorance

JEL Classification Codes:  D63, D71


Published in Economics and Philosophy (2008), 24(2): 233-257 [DOI]