Solidarity and Fairness in Times of Crisis

68 Pages Posted: 15 May 2020

See all articles by Alexander W. Cappelen

Alexander W. Cappelen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Ranveig Falch

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Erik Ø. Sørensen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Bertil Tungodden

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 14, 2020

Abstract

In a large-scale pre-registered survey experiment with a representative sample of more than 8,000 Americans, we examine how the COVID-19 pandemic causally affects people’s solidarity and fairness. We randomly manipulate whether respondents are asked general questions about the crisis before answering moral questions. By making the pandemic particularly salient for treated respondents, we causally identify how the crisis changes moral views. We find that the crisis makes respondents more willing to prioritize society’s problems over their own problems, but also more tolerant of inequalities due to luck. We show that people’s moral views are strongly associated with their policy preferences for redistribution. The findings suggest that the pandemic may alter the moral and political landscape in the United States and, consequently, the support for redistribution and welfare policies.

Keywords: Fairness, inequality, COVID-19

JEL Classification: D63, D64

Suggested Citation

Cappelen, Alexander W. and Falch, Ranveig and Sørensen, Erik Ø. and Tungodden, Bertil, Solidarity and Fairness in Times of Crisis (May 14, 2020). NHH Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 06/2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3600806 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3600806

Alexander W. Cappelen (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Ranveig Falch

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

Erik Ø. Sørensen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, N-5045
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.statsokonomen.no/

Bertil Tungodden

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

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