An Egalitarian System Breeds Generosity: The Impact of Redistribution Procedures on Pro‐Social Behavior

13 Pages Posted: 9 May 2014

See all articles by Yohanes E. Riyanto

Yohanes E. Riyanto

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Division of Economics

Jianlin Zhang

Shandong University

Date Written: July 2014

Abstract

In a meritocratic system, people are compensated on the basis of their individual ability, whereas in an egalitarian system people are equally compensated. Essentially, in the latter system high performers are taxed and subsidize underperformers. Would differences in income redistribution procedures affect people's pro‐social behavior? In experiments, we found that people are more generous toward strangers in an egalitarian treatment than in a meritocratic treatment. Interestingly, being taxed does not reduce the generosity of high performers, whereas being subsidized significantly increases the generosity of low performers.

Suggested Citation

Riyanto, Yohanes E. and Zhang, Jianlin, An Egalitarian System Breeds Generosity: The Impact of Redistribution Procedures on Pro‐Social Behavior (July 2014). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 52, Issue 3, pp. 1027-1039, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2434898 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12090

Yohanes E. Riyanto (Contact Author)

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Division of Economics ( email )

HSS 04-53, 14 Nanyang Drive
Singapore, 639798
Singapore

Jianlin Zhang

Shandong University ( email )

27 Shanda Nanlu
South Rd.
Jinan, 250100
China

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