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Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution

Author

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  • Alesina, Alberto
  • Stantcheva, Stefanie
  • Teso, Edoardo

Abstract

Using newly collected cross-country survey and experimental data, we investigate how beliefs about intergenerational mobility affect preferences for redistribution in five countries: France, Italy, Sweden, U.K., and U.S.. Americans are more optimistic than Europeans about intergenerational mobility, and too optimistic relative to actual mobility. Our randomized treatment that shows respondents pessimistic information about mobility increases support for redistribution, mostly for equality of opportunity policies. A strong political polarization exists: Left-wing respondents are more pessimistic about intergenerational mobility, their preferences for redistribution are correlated with their mobility perceptions, and they respond to pessimistic information by increasing support for redistribution. None of these apply to right-wing respondents, possibly because of their extremely negative views of government.

Suggested Citation

  • Alesina, Alberto & Stantcheva, Stefanie & Teso, Edoardo, 2017. "Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 11738, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11738
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    1. Intergenerational Mobility and Preferences for Redistribution
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2017-02-07 23:35:34

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    Cited by:

    1. Rafael Di Tella & Juan Dubra & Alejandro Luis Lagomarsino, 2016. "Meet the Oligarchs: Business Legitimacy, State Capacity and Taxation," NBER Working Papers 22934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Rehdanz, Katrin & Schröder, Carsten & Narita, Daiju & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2017. "Public preferences for alternative electricity mixes in post-Fukushima Japan," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 262-270.
    3. Roland Bénabou, 2017. "Comment on "Understanding the Great Gatsby Curve"," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2017, volume 32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fairness; intergenerational mobility; Online Experiment; redistribution; taxation;

    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
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • 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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