Economics at your fingertips  

Rawls’s difference principle and maximin rule of allocation: a new analysis

Philippe Mongin () and Marcus Pivato ()
Additional contact information
Philippe Mongin: CNRS & HEC Paris

Economic Theory, 2021, vol. 71, issue 4, No 8, 1499-1525

Abstract: Abstract If Rawls’s A Theory of Justice has achieved fame among economists, this is due to his Difference Principle, which says that inequalities of resources should be to the benefit of the less fortunate, or more operationally, that allocations of resources should be ranked by the maximin criterion. We extend the Rawlsian maximin in two ways: first, by resorting to the more general min-of-means formula of decision theory, second, by addressing the case where the resources accruing to each individual are uncertain to society. For the latter purpose, we resort to the ex ante versus ex post distinction of welfare economics. The paper axiomatically characterizes the ex ante and ex post forms of the Rawlsian maximin and compares them in terms of egalitarian criteria. It finally recommends and axiomatizes a compromise egalitarian theory that mixes the two forms.

Keywords: Rawls; Maximin; Difference principle; Ex ante egalitarian; Ex post egalitarian; Min-of-means; D63; D71; D81; I30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
Working Paper: Rawls’s difference principle and maximin rule of allocation: a new analysis (2021) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... eory/journal/199/PS2

DOI: 10.1007/s00199-021-01344-x

Access Statistics for this article

Economic Theory is currently edited by Nichoals Yanneils

More articles in Economic Theory from Springer, Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().

Page updated 2022-08-11
Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:71:y:2021:i:4:d:10.1007_s00199-021-01344-x