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How Elastic Are Preferences for Redistribution? Evidence from Randomized Survey Experiments

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Listed:
  • Ilyana Kuziemko
  • Michael I. Norton
  • Emmanuel Saez
  • Stefanie Stantcheva

Abstract

We analyze randomized online survey experiments providing interactive, customized information on US income inequality, the link between top income tax rates and economic growth, and the estate tax. The treatment has large effects on views about inequality but only slightly moves tax and transfer policy preferences. An exception is the estate tax—informing respondents of the small share of decedents who pay it doubles support for it. The small effects for all other policies can be partially explained by respondents' low trust in government and a disconnect between concerns about social issues and the public policies meant to address them. (JEL D31, D72, H23, H24)

Suggested Citation

  • Ilyana Kuziemko & Michael I. Norton & Emmanuel Saez & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2015. "How Elastic Are Preferences for Redistribution? Evidence from Randomized Survey Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1478-1508, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:4:p:1478-1508
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20130360
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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