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Social Mobility Perceptions and Inequality Acceptance

Author

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  • Dietmar Fehr
  • Daniel Müller
  • Marcel Preuss

Abstract

This paper examines how perceptions of social mobility affect distributional preferences. We conduct a randomized information intervention in a large and heterogeneous sample of Germans to manipulate beliefs about social mobility. While the information treatment renders perceptions significantly more pessimistic, it changes neither revealed distributional preferences nor support for redistribution or education spending. The large sample size allows us to rule out economically meaningful treatment effects. One reason for this result seems to be that respondents do not link low mobility rates to the role of luck and inequality of opportunity.

Suggested Citation

  • Dietmar Fehr & Daniel Müller & Marcel Preuss, 2020. "Social Mobility Perceptions and Inequality Acceptance," Working Papers 2020-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, Universität Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2020-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ingar Haaland & Christopher Roth & Johannes Wohlfart, 2023. "Designing Information Provision Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 3-40, March.
    2. Nina Weber, 2023. "Experience of Social Mobility and Support for Redistribution: Accepting or Blaming the System?," ifo Working Paper Series 397, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    3. Blesse, Sebastian, 2021. "Are your tax problems an opportunity not to pay taxes? Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 21-040, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Germán Reyes & Leonardo Gasparini, 2022. "Are fairness perceptions shaped by income inequality? evidence from Latin America," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 20(4), pages 893-913, December.
    5. Dietmar Fehr & Johanna Mollerstrom & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2022. "Your Place in the World: Relative Income and Global Inequality," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 232-268, November.
    6. Kishishita, Daiki & Yamagishi, Atsushi & Matsumoto, Tomoko, 2023. "Overconfidence, income-ability gap, and preferences for income equality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    7. Fehr, Dietmar & Vollmann, Martin, 2020. "Misperceiving Economic Success: Experimental Evidence on Meritocratic Beliefs and Inequality Acceptance," Working Papers 0695, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    8. Leonardo Gasparini & Germ'an Reyes, 2022. "Are Fairness Perceptions Shaped by Income Inequality? Evidence from Latin America," Papers 2202.04591, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2022.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social mobility; distributional preferences; inequality; survey experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • 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
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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