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The Tradeoff between Redistribution and effort: Evidence from the Field and from the Lab

Building on a theoretical model we test the hypothesis that effort choices and preferences for redistribution are simultaneously determined. Using cross-country panel data from the World Value Survey, we find that it is important to model preferences for redistribution and effort choices simultaneously. While respondents with stronger preferences for redistribution tend to have smaller incentives to engage in effort, the reverse does not hold true. Using a lab experiment, we show that redistribution choices even increase in imposed effort.Those with higher ability are willing to help the needy if earning income becomes more difficult for everybody.

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File URL: http://www.iaw.edu/RePEc/iaw/pdf/iaw_dp_81.pdf
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Paper provided by Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW) in its series IAW Discussion Papers with number 81.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iaw:iawdip:81
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  1. Becker, Sascha O. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2007. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," IZA Discussion Papers 2886, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. James Konow, 2000. "Fair Shares: Accountability and Cognitive Dissonance in Allocation Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1072-1091, September.
  3. Klor, Esteban F. & Shayo, Moses, 2010. "Social identity and preferences over redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 269-278, April.
  4. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1999. "Political Economics and Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 7097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Selten, Reinhard & Ockenfels, Axel, 1998. "An experimental solidarity game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 517-539, March.
  6. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. Alberto F. Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Fuchs-Schundeln, Nicola & Alesina, Alberto, 2007. "Good-Bye Lenin (Or Not?): The Effect of Communism on People's Preferences," Scholarly Articles 4553032, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Jean-Robert Tyran & Rupert Sausgruber, 2002. "A Little Fairness may Induce a Lot of Redistribution in Democracy," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-30, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  10. Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
  11. Checchi, Daniele & Filippin, Antonio, 2003. "An Experimental Study of the POUM Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Antonio Cabrales & Rosemarie Nagel & José Rodríguez Mora, 2012. "It is Hobbes, not Rousseau: an experiment on voting and redistribution," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 278-308, June.
  13. Schokkaert, Erik & Capeau, Bart, 1991. "Interindividual Differences in Opinions about Distributive Justice," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 325-45.
  14. Tim Krieger & Stefan Traub, 2008. "Back to Bismarck? Shifting Preferences for Intragenerational Redistribution in OECD Pension Systems," Working Papers CIE 13, University of Paderborn, CIE Center for International Economics.
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