The paper reports from a large-scale study of people’s fairness preferences and beliefs, where 65 000 individuals from 60 countries make real distributive choices. We establish causal evidence on the role of the source of inequality and efficiency considerations for inequality acceptance, and we provide a rich description of people’s beliefs about the main sources of inequality and the cost of redistribution. We find large heterogeneities in both preferences and beliefs and show that they are strongly associated with people’s policy views on redistribution. The paper also studies how people’s fairness views relate to various country characteristics. In particular, we show that there are striking differences between the developed and developing countries in both fairness preferences and beliefs.
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