Cycles of maximin and utilitarian policies under the veil of ignorance

Darya V. Filatova, Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde, Jean Baratgin, Frank Jamet, Jing Shao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A conceptual and mathematical model of a social community behavior in a choice situation under a veil of ignorance, where two alternative policies—Rawlsian maximin and Harsanyian utilitarianism—can be implemented through the aggregation of individual preferences over these two policies, is constructed and investigated. We first incorporate in our conceptual model psychological features such as risk-aversion and prosocial preferences that likely underlie choices of welfare policies. We secondly develop and select the mathematical model presented it by means of an autonomous system of ordinary differential equations. A qualitative analysis of this system global phase-plane behavior shows possible tendencies of community development under social choices over Rawlsian or utilitarian societies depending on psychological parameters such as risk aversion and prosocial preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
JournalMind and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Dynamic system
  • Maximin
  • Ordinary differential equation
  • Prosocial preferences
  • Risk-aversion
  • Utilitarianism
  • Veil of ignorance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cycles of maximin and utilitarian policies under the veil of ignorance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this