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Presentation of the paper "Institutional Quality and Social Policy Preferences"

HSE International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID), NES Center for the Study of Diversity and Social Interactions in cooperation with the seminar “Political Economy” held their regular joint Research Seminar on Diversity and Development on December 13, 2016.

Israel Marques, PhD (Columbia University), Assistant Professor at the HSE Faculty of Social Science, 
presented his paper «Institutional Quality and Social Policy Preferences» (co-authered by Joseph B. Schaffer  and Sarah Wilson Sokhey).

Abstract:  Using laboratory experiments conducted in two countries, we examine how poor institutions inuence individuals support for redistribution. Contrary to conventional expectations, we argue that high-earning individuals will prefer more redistribution when they can more easily evade taxes. To test our expectations, we conducted a series of experiments from February to May 2016 simulating earned income and tax evasion. We find that high earners do indeed prefer more redistribution when they can more easily under-report their income. Our findings make an important contribution to the little studied question of how institutional quality affects social policy preferences.