NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Intergenerational Mobility and Support for Redistribution

Alberto Alesina, Stefanie Stantcheva, Edoardo Teso

NBER Working Paper No. 23027
Issued in January 2017, Revised in June 2017
NBER Program(s):Public Economics, Political Economy

Using new cross-country survey and experimental data, we investigate how beliefs about intergenerational mobility affect preferences for redistribution in France, Italy, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S.. Americans are more optimistic than Europeans about social mobility. Our randomized treatment shows pessimistic information about mobility and increases support for redistribution, mostly for "equality of opportunity" policies. We find a strong political polarization. Left-wing respondents are more pessimistic about mobility, their preferences for redistribution are correlated with their mobility perceptions, and they support more redistribution after seeing pessimistic information. None of these apply to right-wing respondents, possibly because they see the government as a "problem" and not as the "solution."

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23027

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Ashok, Kuziemko, and Washington w21529 Support for Redistribution in an Age of Rising Inequality: New Stylized Facts and Some Tentative Explanations
Bayer and Charles w22797 Divergent Paths: Structural Change, Economic Rank, and the Evolution of Black-White Earnings Differences, 1940-2014
Black and Devereux w15889 Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility
Alesina, Azzalini, Favero, Giavazzi, and Miano w22863 Is it the "How" or the "When" that Matters in Fiscal Adjustments?
Almond, Currie, and Duque w23017 Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us