Gender and Redistribution: Experimental Evidence

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 16-063/I

35 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2016

See all articles by Thomas Buser

Thomas Buser

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE)

Louis Putterman

Brown University - Department of Economics

Joel J. van der Weele

University of Amsterdam - Center for Experimental Economics and political Decision making (CREED); Tinbergen Institute; Center for Financial Studies (CFS)

Date Written: August 19, 2016

Abstract

Gender differences in voting patterns and political attitudes towards redistribution are well-documented. The experimental gender literature suggests several plausible behavioral explanations behind these differences, relating to gender differences in confidence concerning future relative income position, risk aversion, and social preferences. We use data from lab experiments on preferences for redistribution conducted in the U.S. and several European countries to disentangle these potential mechanisms. We find that when choosing to redistribute income as a disinterested observer, women choose higher tax rates than men when initial income depends on performance in a task but not when it is randomly allocated. In a veil of ignorance condition with uncertainty about the income position of the decision maker, this effect is even stronger, leading to a 10ppt gender difference in average chosen tax rates in the performance conditions. We find that this gender difference is mainly due to men being more (over)confident about their task performance and the resulting income position, with gender differences in risk aversion and social preferences playing a minor role.

Keywords: gender, redistribution, overconfidence, risk attitudes, voting, taxation

JEL Classification: C91, J16, H24, D31

Suggested Citation

Buser, Thomas and Putterman, Louis G. and van der Weele, Joel J., Gender and Redistribution: Experimental Evidence (August 19, 2016). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 16-063/I. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2828087 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2828087

Thomas Buser (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Economics (ASE) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, North Holland 1018 WB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/thomasbuser/

Louis G. Putterman

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Box B
Providence, RI 02912
United States
401-863-3837 (Phone)
401-863-1970 (Fax)

Joel J. Van der Weele

University of Amsterdam - Center for Experimental Economics and political Decision making (CREED) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/joelvdweele/

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Center for Financial Studies (CFS) ( email )

Gr├╝neburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

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