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The Tradeoff between Redistribution and effort: Evidence from the Field and from the Lab

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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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Paper provided by Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW) in its series IAW Discussion Papers with number 81.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:81

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

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  1. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2007. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," CESifo Working Paper Series 1987, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  4. Klor, Esteban F & Shayo, Moses, 2007. "Social Identity and Preferences over Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 6406, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Schokkaert, Erik & Capeau, Bart, 1991. "Interindividual Differences in Opinions about Distributive Justice," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 325-45.
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  7. 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.
  8. Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
  9. Tyran, Jean-Robert & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2006. "A little fairness may induce a lot of redistribution in democracy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 469-485, February.
  10. Checchi, Daniele & Filippin, Antonio, 2003. "An Experimental Study of the POUM Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 4056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Antonio Cabrales & Rosemarie Nagel & José Rodríguez Mora, 2012. "It is Hobbes, not Rousseau: an experiment on voting and redistribution," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 278-308, June.
  13. repec:pdn:wpaper:13 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Tim Krieger & Stefan Traub, 2008. "Back to Bismarck? Shifting Preferences for Intragenerational Redistribution in OECD Pension Systems," Working Papers CIE 13, University of Paderborn, CIE Center for International Economics.
  15. 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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