EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Misperceptions of income distributions: Cross-country evidence from a randomized survey experiment

Elisabeth Bublitz ()

No 178, HWWI Research Papers from Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI)

Abstract: This paper investigates whether the individual misperception of income distributions helps explain why, opposite to Meltzer and Richard (1981), higher initial inequality levels do not correlate positively with redistribution. I conduct a representative survey experiment in Brazil, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, and the United States, providing a personalized information treatment on the income distribution to a randomly chosen subsample. Most respondents misperceive their own position in the income distribution. These biases differ by country and the true income position. Misperceptions of the median income relate negatively to misperceived income positions, showing evidence for biased reference points. Correcting misperceptions slightly shifts the demand towards less redistribution in Germany and Russia which appears to be driven by respondents with a negative position bias. Apart from Spain and the US, treatment reactions lead to a convergence of the demand for redistribution across countries. The treatment also alters trust levels in government and beliefs about the importance of luck but not equally across bias types.

Keywords: income distribution; biased perceptions; inequality; survey experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 D63 H20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cis, nep-exp and nep-ltv
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (19) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/148640/1/875128009.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
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:zbw:hwwirp:178

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in HWWI Research Papers from Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics ().

 
Page updated 2021-07-11
Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwirp:178