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Intergenerational Mobility and Support for Redistribution

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto Alesina
  • Stefanie Stantcheva
  • Edoardo Teso

Abstract

Using new cross-country survey and experimental data, we investigate how beliefs about intergenerational mobility affect preferences for redistribution in France, Italy, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S.. Americans are more optimistic than Europeans about social mobility. Our randomized treatment shows pessimistic information about mobility and increases support for redistribution, mostly for "equality of opportunity" policies. We find a strong political polarization. Left-wing respondents are more pessimistic about mobility, their preferences for redistribution are correlated with their mobility perceptions, and they support more redistribution after seeing pessimistic information. None of these apply to right-wing respondents, possibly because they see the government as a "problem" and not as the "solution."

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina & Stefanie Stantcheva & Edoardo Teso, 2017. "Intergenerational Mobility and Support for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 23027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23027
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w23027.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Suchon, Rémi & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2019. "The effects of status mobility and group identity on trust," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 430-463.
    2. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Peichl, Andreas, 2017. "Tax morale and the role of social norms and reciprocity: Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-045, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    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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