Economic Polarization and Antisocial Behavior: an experiment

Bigoni, Maria ; Bortolotti, Stefania ; Nas Özen, Efşan (2019) Economic Polarization and Antisocial Behavior: an experiment. Bologna: Dipartimento di Scienze economiche, p. 55. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsacta/6218. In: Quaderni - Working Paper DSE (1133). ISSN 2282-6483.
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Abstract

We experimentally study a situation where only the rich can reduce inequality while the poor can express their discontent by destroying the wealth of a rich counterpart with whom they had no previous interaction. We test whether the emergence of such forms of antisocial behavior depends only on the level of inequality, or also on the conditions under which inequality occurs. We compare an environment in which the rich can unilaterally reduce inequality with one where generosity makes them vulnerable to exploitation by the poor. We find that the rich are expected to be more generous in the former scenario than in the latter, but in fact this hope is systematically violated. We also observe that the poor engage in forms of antisocial behavior more often when reducing inequality would be safe for the rich. These results cannot be rationalized by inequality aversion alone, while they are in line with recent models that focus on anger as the result of the frustration of expectations.

Abstract
Document type
Monograph (Working Paper)
Creators
CreatorsAffiliationORCID
Bigoni, MariaUniversità di Bologna0000-0001-5988-6115
Bortolotti, StefaniaMax Planck Institute0000-0002-8326-5447
Nas Özen, EfşanBilkent University
Keywords
expectations, frustration, inequality aversion, money-burning, punishment
Subjects
ISSN
2282-6483
DOI
Deposit date
02 Sep 2019 08:44
Last modified
02 Sep 2019 08:44
Project name
RBSI14I7C8 - Inequality and cooperation: An experimental and theoretical investigation
Funding program
MIUR - SIR
URI

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