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American's desire for less wealth inequality does not depend on how you ask them

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  • Michael I. Norton
  • Dan Ariely
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    Abstract

    A large body of survey research offers evidence that citizens are not always fully aware of the economic and political realities in their respective countries. Norton and Ariely (2011) extended this research to the domain of wealth inequality, showing that Americans were surprisingly unaware of the shape of the wealth distribution in America. Using an alternative methodology, Eriksson and Simpson (2012) found that asking Americans to estimate the average wealth of quintiles, rather than the percent of wealth owned by each quintile, led to relatively more accurate estimates. We note, however, that the Eriksson and Simpson (2012) results do not challenge Norton and Ariely's (2011) conclusion that Americans desire a much more equal distribution of wealth.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 393-394

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    Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:8:y:2013:i:3:p:393-394

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    Related research

    Keywords: wealth inequality; judgment elicitation.;

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    1. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2004. "Fairness and Redistribution," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000306, www.najecon.org.
    2. Cruces, Guillermo & Perez-Truglia, Ricardo & Tetaz, Martin, 2013. "Biased perceptions of income distribution and preferences for redistribution: Evidence from a survey experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 100-112.
    3. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 187-278.
    5. Kimmo Eriksson & Brent Simpson, 2012. "What do Americans know about inequality? It depends on how you ask them," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(6), pages 741-745, November.
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