Cutthroat Capitalism versus Cuddly Socialism
New published paper by Ingvild Almås, Alexander W. Cappelen and Bertil Tungodden in the Journal of Political Economy, titled "Cutthroat Capitalism versus Cuddly Socialism: Are Americans More Meritocratic and Efficiency-Seeking than Scandinavians?".
There are striking differences in inequality and redistribution between the United States and Scandinavia. To study whether there are corresponding differences in social preferences, we conducted a large-scale international social preference experiment where Americans and Norwegians make distributive choices in identical environments. Combining the infrastructure of an international online labor market and that of a leading international data collection agency, we show that Americans and Norwegians differ significantly in fairness views, but not in the importance assigned to efficiency. We also provide causal evidence suggesting that fairness considerations are more fundamental for inequality acceptance than efficiency considerations.