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Debiasing preferences over redistribution: an experiment

Romain Espinosa, Bruno Deffains () and Christian Thöni ()
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Bruno Deffains: CRED-Université Panthéon-Assas

Social Choice and Welfare, 2020, vol. 55, issue 4, No 7, 823-843

Abstract: Abstract We study the manipulation of preferences over redistribution. Previous work showed that preferences over redistribution are malleable by the experience of success or failure in a preceding real-effort task. We manipulate the information subjects receive about the importance of chance relative to effort in determining success. We investigate the effect of this manipulation on (1) subjects’ redistribution choices affecting third parties, and (2) preferences for redistributive taxation. Our results show that informing the subjects about the relative importance of chance after the real-effort task does not mitigate the self-serving bias in redistribution choices. Only providing full information before the real-effort task prevents the emergence of the self-serving bias.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s00355-020-01265-z

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