This thesis investigates people’s beliefs, attitudes, and preferences regarding the distribution of incomes using economic experiments. The thesis finds that a substantial number of people take into account the satisfaction of basic human needs when making distributional choices. The thesis further reveals that one explanation for why the wealthy have less favorable attitudes towards redistribution than people from the general population is that the wealthy have stronger beliefs in the importance of hard work for achieving success in life. Understanding people’s distributional motivations can inform policy makers about the optimal design of redistributive policies and help create acceptance of these policies.
- income distribution, redistributive attitudes
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