The social welfare function that uses as its measure of social welfare the utility of the worst-off member of society. The following argument can be used to motivate the Rawlsian social welfare function. Imagine a group of individuals who have not yet entered the economy (they are ‘behind the veil of ignorance’) so do not yet know what position they will occupy. That is, they may become rich members of the economy or poor members. If asked what form of social welfare function they would wish the economy to have an extremely risk-averse individual would propose the Rawlsian.