Wednesday, 16th February 2022
14:00 - 15:00
More than Self-Interest? Income, Equality of Opportunity and Intergenerational Mobility
Beliefs in equality of opportunity and intergenerational mobility are increasingly popular as an explanation for redistribution preferences. Some individuals (even if they are poor) may be more willing to accept inequality as a result of a fair meritocratic process. Others (even when they are rich) may support redistribution if they believe inequality to be the result of an unfair system. In this project, we start with the relationship between material self-interest and redistribution preferences as a baseline. We then introduce the arguments about equality of opportunity and intergenerational mobility that have been provided in the literature as important factors influencing the baseline effect of income. And we introduce a set of intuitions why the theorized effects of perceptions of equal opportunity or intergenerational mobility may be income-dependent (more relevant to the rich, less so to the poor). We test our hypotheses with data from 3 different surveys: ISSP 2009, EB 2017, ESS 2018. In this Colloquium, we focus on the design of a survey experiment to complement our observational analysis.