Identity and Redistribution: Theory and Evidence
56 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2020
Date Written: 2020
We propose a theoretical model that embeds social identity concerns, as in Akerlof and Kranton (2000), with inequity averse preferences, as in Fehr and Schmidt (1999). We conduct an artefactual ultimatum game experiment with registered members of British political parties, for whom political identity is salient and redistribution is also likely to be salient. The empirical results are as follows. (1) Proposers and responders demonstrate ingroup-favoritism. (2) Proposers exhibit quantitatively stronger social identity effects relative to responders. (3) As redistributive taxes increase, average offers by proposers and the average minimum acceptable offers of responders (both as a proportion of income) decline by almost the same amount, suggesting a shared understanding that is characteristic of social norms. (4) Subjects experience less disadvantageous inequity from ingroup members relative to outgroup members.
Keywords: social identity, political identity, prosocial behavior, ultimatum game, fiscal redistribution, entitlements
JEL Classification: D010, D030
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation