Social Preferences and Voting on Reform: An Experimental Study

Fabian Paetzel, Rupert Sausgruber, Stefan Traub

Publikation: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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Abstract

Debating over efficiency-enhancing but inequality-increasing reforms accounts for the routine business of democratic institutions. Fernandez and Rodrik (1991) hold that anti-reform bias can be attributed to individual-specific uncertainty regarding the distribution of gains and losses resulting from a reform. In this paper, we experimentally demonstrate that anti-reform bias arising from uncertainty is mitigated by social preferences. We show that, paradoxically, many who stand to lose from reforms vote in favor because they value efficiency, while many who will potentially gain from reforms oppose them due to inequality aversion.
OriginalspracheEnglisch
ErscheinungsortVienna
HerausgeberWU Vienna University of Economics and Business
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Apr. 2014

Publikationsreihe

NameDepartment of Economics Working Paper Series
Nr.172

WU Working Paper Reihe

  • Department of Economics Working Paper Series

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