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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Andreas Peichl & Martin Ungerer, 2017. "Equality Of Opportunity: East Vs. West Germany," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 421-427, October.
    6. Dunnzlaff, Lina & Neumann, Dirk & Niehues, Judith & Peichl, Andreas, 2010. "Equality of Opportunity and Redistribution in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 5375, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fairness; intergenerational mobility; Online Experiment; redistribution; taxation;
    All these keywords.

    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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