Using a laboratory experiment, we examine if third party redistribution from a “Have” to a “Have-not” is affected by (1) whether a Have’s advantage is in some way self-determined and (2) whether self-determination occurs in two dimensions compared to one dimension. We find that redistribution decreases if a Have earns an advantageous opportunity or earns income. But we also find that redistribution does not decrease any further if a Have earns both an opportunity and income. These results suggest that, in line with existing work, the perception that advantages are self-determined matters for redistribution. But the results also suggest that, once one develops the perception that self-determination exists, additional dimensions self-determination may not matter on the margin. We also find that stakeholders’ expectations of redistribution do not depend on whether advantages in the experiment are self-determined. Expectations instead depend on whether a stakeholder is a Have or a Have-not.
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
Chavanne, D., McCabe, K., & Paganelli, M. P. (in press). Are Self-Made Men Made Equally? An Experimental Test of Impartial Redistribution and Perceptions of Self-Determination. Nordic Journal of Political Economy. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.1534934
Nordic Journal of Political Economy