American's desire for less wealth inequality does not depend on how you ask them
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.
Volume (Year): 8 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
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- 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.
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