Cappelen and Haaland present in Vienna and Trondheim

21 September 2017 11:18

Cappelen and Haaland present in Vienna and Trondheim

This week Alexander Cappelen presents his paper at the workshop on Behavioral Public Economics in Vienna and Ingar Kyrkjebø Haaland presents his paper at a department seminar at NTNU, Trondheim.

Cappelen in Vienna

Alexander Cappelen, professor at FAIR-The Choice Lab, presents his paper "Beliefs about Behavioral Responses to Taxation" at a workshop on Behavioral Public Economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business this week.


Behavioral responses to taxation affect the trade-off society faces between implementing equality and efficiency. Several influential theoretical papers have used heterogeneity in beliefs about behavioral responses to taxation to explain variation in people's support for redistribution of income in society. In this study, we use a purposefully simple task to elicit incentivized beliefs from a representative sample of 4200 Americans about how taxes affect people's effort choices. The design allows us to assess the empirical validity of theoretical models suggesting a key role for beliefs about behavioral responses by investigating whether these beliefs are a good predictor of people's support for redistributive policies. We find that while equality--efficiency preferences strongly predict individual
support for redistributive policies in society, beliefs about behavioral responses are not a significant predictor of support for redistributive policies. The findings suggest that preference heterogeneity is more important than differences in beliefs to explain people's attitudes toward redistribution of income in society.

Read about the conference

Haaland in Trondheim

Ingar Kyrkjebø Haaland, PhD student at FAIR-The Choice Lab, presents his paper "Labor Market Concerns and Support for Immigration" co-authored with Christopher Roth (University of Oxford) at Department of Economics, NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in Trondheim. 


We examine whether labor market concerns causally affect people's support for immigration. Using a large, representative US sample, we first elicit our respondents' beliefs about the labor market impact of immigration. Respondents in the treatment group then receive information about research showing no adverse labor market impacts of immigration. This treatment leads to higher support for immigration as measured by self-reported attitudes and signatures of real online petitions. Moreover, we employ an obfuscated follow-up survey to show that the treatment effects persist one week later in a setting where concerns about differential experimenter demand effects between the treatment and control group are mitigated. In contrast to existing evidence, our results demonstrate that labor market concerns are an important causal determinant of people's attitudes towards immigration that affects political behavior.

Read about the seminar

Read more from FAIR-The Choice Lab