Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Self Interest 1, Rawls 0

For the class today over at UNC, A. Rosenberg and I tried an exercise.

Not really a fair test of Rawls, but just thought we'd see.

We bought lottery tickets, enough for the whole class.

Before we handed them out, one per customer, we told the class they had to decide whether to (a) put all the class winnings into a pot, to be shared, or (b) each winner keeps his/her winnings. Alternative b won, about 2-1, in a class of 30.

Most people got nothing. Three people won a dollar. One young lady won $25. And got to keep it all.

So much for the Difference Principle....

4 comments:

Steven Taylor said...

No doubt it was because your Veil of Ignorance was faulty.

I hate it when that happens...

Josh said...

Frankly, it's nice to see a little self interest prevail once in a while.

Jordan said...

The real winner in that exercise? The state of North Carolina. They're up 2 bucks.

Simon Spero said...

As long as the most ignorant person in the classroom learned something, everybody won.

Of course, if they'd won $500 they could have learned even more with John Rawl's personal copy of "The Constitution of Liberty" , 1E .