EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

How Elastic are Preferences for Redistribution? Evidence from Randomized Survey Experiments

Ilyana Kuziemko, Michael I Norton, Emmanuel Saez () and Stefanie Stantcheva

No 9438, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of information about inequality and taxes on preferences for redistribution using randomized online surveys on Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk). About 5,000 respondents were randomized into treatments providing interactive information on U.S. income inequality, the link between top income tax rates and economic growth, and the estate tax. We find that the informational treatment has very large effects on whether respondents view inequality as an important problem. By contrast, we find quantitatively small effects of the treatment on views about policy and redistribution: support for taxing the rich increases slightly, support for transfers to the poor does not, especially among those with lower incomes and education. An exception is the estate tax---we find that informing respondents that it affects only the very richest families has an extremely large positive effect on estate tax support, even increasing respondents' willingness to write to their U.S. senator about the issue. We also find that the treatment substantially decreases trust in government, potentially mitigating respondents' willingness to translate concerns about inequality into government action. Methodologically, we explore different strategies to lower attrition in online survey platforms and show our main results are robust across methods. A small follow-up survey one month later reveals that our results persist over time. Finally, we compare mTurk with other survey vendors and provide suggestions to future researchers considering this platform.

Keywords: Inequality; Online survey; Randomized experiment; Taxation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 H2 I3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-pbe and nep-pub
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (21) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9438 (application/pdf)
CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

Related works:
Journal Article: How Elastic Are Preferences for Redistribution? Evidence from Randomized Survey Experiments (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: How Elastic Are Preferences for Redistribution? Evidence from Randomized Survey Experiments (2013) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9438

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.cepr.org/ ... ers/dp.php?dpno=9438

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers Centre for Economic Policy Research, 33 Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DX.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

 
Page updated 2020-04-03
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9438