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New Discussion Paper by Tim Krieger, Christine Meemann, Stefan Traub: Inequality, Life Expectancy, and the Intragenerational Redistribution Puzzle Some Experimental Evidence

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Abstract:

In most OECD countries, pension reform policy has decreased the level of intragenerational redistribution over the last three decades, that is, redistribution among members of the same generation with high and low pension entitlements. This trend has occurred despite heterogeneity in life expectancy linked to socioeconomic status having a regressive impact on outcomes. This paper contributes to solving this puzzle by means of a controlled laboratory experiment. We study the causal relationship between inequality of entitlements, mortality risk, and the size of redistribution in a stylized social security system. We find that mortality risk, when negatively correlated with entitlements, significantly lowers subjects’ willingness to redistribute payoffs from high-entitlement to low-entitlement subjects. We explain this
finding with efficiency preferences and an alienation effect. The alienation effect is the tendency to attach a lower social weight to the short-lived poor.


The full text is available here.

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