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The relative importance given to different memeberrs of a society in the evaluation nof social welfare.
For the utilitarian social welfare function all the distributional weights are equal and are usually normalized to 1. For the Rawlsian, or maximin, social welfare function the distributional weights are equal to 0 for all consumers except the consumer with lowest utility level who is assigned a weight of 1.
Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.
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