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Pré-publication, Document de travail Année : 2023

Money is Justice: Experimental Evidence on Non-meritocratic Redistributive Preferences in China

Résumé

This paper explores the factors that influence redistributive preferences in the context of sustained economic expansion, focusing on luck and growth. Using an online survey experiment with a nationally representative sample from China, we find that priming getting rich by non-meritocratic means reduces redistributive support, specifically for policies that aim to take from the rich and the belief in the government’s duty to redistribute, indicating the presence of non-meritocratic fairness views in China. Heterogeneous treatment effects analysis reveals that such non-meritocratic fairness views are a general phenomenon and self-interest in the form of subjective economic pressure only seems to serve as a secondary concern. While people feel that the rich are more deserving and demand less redistribution after being primed with stories of getting rich by luck regardless of subjective economic pressure, only those under less economic pressure exhibit decreased support for policies that aim to help the poor. Priming China’s growth story does not result in statistically significant changes in redistributive support. Additionally, we rule out the influence of three relevant confounders: low tax salience, preference falsification under authoritarianism, and misperceptions about relative income positions and intergenerational occupational mobility. We argue that non-meritocratic fairness views are rooted in a high-growth economic environment, where economic fortunes are abundant and random.
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Dates et versions

halshs-03496033, version 1 (20-12-2021)
halshs-03496033, version 2 (04-03-2022)
halshs-03496033, version 3 (20-04-2023)

Identifiants

  • HAL Id : halshs-03496033 , version 3

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Nora Yuqian Chen, Yuchen Huang, Zhexun Fred Mo. Money is Justice: Experimental Evidence on Non-meritocratic Redistributive Preferences in China. 2023. ⟨halshs-03496033v3⟩
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Dernière date de mise à jour le 16/06/2024
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