Ben Ansell

  Tuesday, 30th April 2019

  13:30 - 14:30

   CESS Seminar Rooms - 3 George Street Mews

   Wealth Inequality, Income Inequality and Experimental Redistributive Behaviour


Do people view inequality in unearned wealth and inequality in earned income differently when it comes to their preferences over redistribution?  In this experiment all participants receive a wealth endowment (possibly investible) before entering the lab and all also play a slider task that produces in-lab earnings. Participants are then asked to vote over tax rates for earned income and unearned wealth separately, the proceeds of which are then distributed across all participants evenly.  We intend on examining three particular treatments with regard to wealth: firstly varying the level of unearned wealth participants receive, secondly varying whether they have the opportunity to choose to make a risky investment in that wealth before entering the lab, and thirdly, whether before voting on redistribution in the lab they receive information about the distribution of income and wealth across participants. The experiment will hopefully shed new light on how individuals perceive the fairness of their wealth and their willingness to accept taxation of it in comparison to income.