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The Tradeoff Between Redistribution and Effort: Evidence from the Field and from the Lab

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  • Claudia M. Buch
  • Christoph Engel

Abstract

Building on a theoretical model we test the hypothesis that effort choices and preferences for redistribution are simultaneously determined. Using cross-country panel data from the World Value Survey, we find that it is important to model preferences for redistribution and effort choices simultaneously. While respondents with stronger preferences for redistribution tend to have smaller incentives to engage in effort, the reverse does not hold true. Using a lab experiment, we show that redistribution choices even increase in imposed effort. Those with higher ability are willing to help the needy if earning income becomes more difficult for everybody.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-04/cesifo1_wp3808.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3808.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3808

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Keywords: effort; redistribution; World Value Survey; simultaneous equation models; experiment;

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  1. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Public Finance," Working Papers 149, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Schokkaert, Erik & Capeau, Bart, 1991. "Interindividual Differences in Opinions about Distributive Justice," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 325-45.
  4. Jean-Robert Tyran & Rupert Sausgruber, 2002. "A Little Fairness may Induce a Lot of Redistribution in Democracy," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-30, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  5. Alberto F. Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596, May.
  7. Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
  8. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  9. Klor, Esteban F. & Shayo, Moses, 2010. "Social identity and preferences over redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 269-278, April.
  10. Tim Krieger & Stefan Traub, 2008. "Back to Bismarck? Shifting Preferences for Intragenerational Redistribution in OECD Pension Systems," Working Papers 13, University of Paderborn, CIE Center for International Economics.
  11. Checchi, Daniele & Filippin, Antonio, 2003. "An Experimental Study of the POUM Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Fuchs-Schundeln, Nicola & Alesina, Alberto, 2007. "Good-Bye Lenin (Or Not?): The Effect of Communism on People's Preferences," Scholarly Articles 4553032, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
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