lunduniversity.lu.se

Department of Economics

Lund University School of Economics and Management

Seminar in Microeconomics: Joël van der Weele

Seminar

Joël van der Weele (University of Amsterdam)

Title: “Fair Shares and Selective Attention” (with Dianna R Amasino and Davice Pace)

Abstract: Attitudes towards fairness and redistribution differ along socio-economic lines, resulting in political conflict. To understand the formation of such views and find levers to affect them, we study the role of attention. In a large online experiment, we investigate how subjects allocate their visual attention to the contributions of merit and luck in the generation of a surplus and how they decide on its division. We find that subjects who randomly obtained an advantaged position pay less attention to information about true merit and retain more of the surplus. Both the attentional and behavioral patterns persist, although with smaller effect sizes, when dictators subsequently divide money between pairs of advantaged and disadvantaged subjects in the role of a benevolent judge. Moreover, attention has a substantial causal effect: forcing subjects to look for one second more at merit information relative to overall outcomes reduces the effect of having an advantaged position on allocations by about 25%. These findings open a new window on socio-economic cleavages in attitudes towards redistribution, and suggest that attention-based policy interventions may be effective in reducing polarized views on inequality.

 
27 September 2021
13:15–14:15

Venue

This is an online meeting.

Contact

Roel van Veldhuizen

roel.van_veldhuizen@nek.lu.se