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(Bad) Luck or (Lack of) Effort?: Comparing Social Sharing Norms between US and Europe

  • Pedro Rey-Biel

    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departmento de Economía e Historia Económica)

  • Roman M. Sheremeta

    (Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University, USA)

  • Neslihan Uler


    (Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan)

We compare the determinants of individual giving between two countries, Spain and the US, which differ in their redistribution policies and their beliefs over the causes of poverty. By varying the information about the determinants of income, we find that, although overall giving is similar in both countries when subjects know the actual role of luck and effort, Spanish subjects give more when they are uninformed compared to American subjects. Using elicited beliefs, we find that this is due to Spanish subjects associating poverty with bad luck and Americans believing that low performers did not work hard enough.

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Paper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 11-11.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:chu:wpaper:11-11
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