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The role of ignorance in the emergence of redistribution

Anke Gerber, Andreas Nicklisch and Stefan Voigt ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2019, vol. 163, issue C, 239-261

Abstract: Our study investigates the emergence of redistribution societies when individuals vote on distribution rules with their feet. The choice of a distribution rule is a strategic decision since individuals differ in the productivity of their investments and hence total income depends on the types of individuals who have chosen the same distribution rule. In our laboratory experiment, we find that, compared to full information, the amount of redistribution increases if individuals face uncertainty about their productivity at the time they choose a distribution rule. Moreover, we find a coexistence of libertarian and redistributive societies as well as imperfect segregation for all degrees of uncertainty, so that heterogeneous redistribution societies turn out to be sustainable throughout.

Keywords: Constitutional choice; Experimental economics; Partial ignorance; Redistribution; Voting by feet (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D02 D63 H24 K00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.04.021

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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