Natural Disasters and Demand for Redistribution: Lessons from an Earthquake

36 Pages Posted: 25 May 2018 Last revised: 21 Jan 2020

See all articles by Giovanni Gualtieri

Giovanni Gualtieri

Italian National Research Council (CNR)

Marcella Nicolini

University of Pavia - Department of Economics and Management

Fabio Sabatini

Sapienza University of Rome - Department of Economics and Law; Euricse

Luca Zamparelli

University of Rome I

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 18, 2018

Abstract

The literature shows that when a society believes that wealth is determined by random “luck” rather than by merit, it demands more redistribution. Adverse shocks, like earthquakes, strengthen the belief that random “bad luck” can frustrate the outcomes achieved with merit. We theoretically illustrate that individuals react to such shocks by raising support for redistribution. We then present evidence of this behavior by exploiting a natural experiment provided by one of the strongest seismic events that occurred in Italy in the last three decades, the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009. We assemble a novel dataset by matching information on the ground acceleration registered throughout the National Strong Motion Network during the earthquake with survey data about individual opinions on redistribution collected a few months later. The empirical analysis illustrates that the intensity of the shakes is associated with subsequent stronger beliefs that, for a society to be fair, income inequalities should be levelled by redistribution.

Keywords: Fairness, Redistribution, Inequality, Natural Disasters, Earthquakes

JEL Classification: H10, H53, D63, D69, Z1

Suggested Citation

Gualtieri, Giovanni and Nicolini, Marcella and Sabatini, Fabio and Zamparelli, Luca, Natural Disasters and Demand for Redistribution: Lessons from an Earthquake (May 18, 2018). FEEM Working Paper No. 15.2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3180529 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3180529

Giovanni Gualtieri

Italian National Research Council (CNR) ( email )

Via San Martino della battaglia, 44
Roma, 00185
Italy

Marcella Nicolini (Contact Author)

University of Pavia - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Strada Nuova, 65
Pavia, 27100
Italy

Fabio Sabatini

Sapienza University of Rome - Department of Economics and Law ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185
Italy

Euricse ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

Luca Zamparelli

University of Rome I ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185
Italy

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
33
Abstract Views
300
PlumX Metrics