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Research Seminar on Diversity and Development

HSE International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development (ICSID) and NES Center for the Study of Diversity and Social Interactions held another session of their joint Research Seminar on Diversity and Development on February 6, 2018. The event was held jointly with the seminar “Political Economy” and Economic Development and Growth Research Group.

Israel Marques II, Assistant Professor at the HSE School of Political Science and ICSID Research Fellow, presented his paper "Institutional Quality and Social Policy Preferences: Experimental Evidence"(co-authored by Joseph B. Schaffer and Sarah Wilson Sokhey).

Abstract: Using laboratory experiments conducted in two countries, we examine how poor institutions influence 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.