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We report a laboratory experiment that enables us to distinguish preferences for altruism (concerning tradeoffs between own payoffs and the payoffs of others) from social preferences (concerning tradeoffs between the payoffs of others). By using graphical representations of three-person Dictator Games that vary the relative prices of giving, we generate a(More)
We study the impact of exposure to ideology on distributional preferences in the context of modified Dictator Games that vary the price of giving. We exploiting a natural experiment in education — random assignment to first-term instructors at the Yale Law School — in order to distinguish the self-selection into a discipline from the learning that education(More)
This paper reports a rigorous experimental test of Pareto-damaging behaviors. We introduce a new graphical representation of dictator games with step-shaped sets of feasible payoffs to persons self and other on which strongly Pareto efficient allocations involve substantial inequality. The non-convexity and sharp nonlinearity of the Pareto frontier allow us(More)
We studied the distributional preferences of an elite cadre of Yale Law School students, a group that will assume positions of power in U.S. society. Our experimental design allows us to test whether redistributive decisions are consistent with utility maximization and to decompose underlying preferences into two qualitatively different tradeoffs:(More)
Luck egalitarianism — the theory that makes individual responsibility central to distributive justice, so that bad luck underwrites a more compelling case for redistribution than do the bad choices of the disadvantaged — has recently come under a sustained attack from critics who are deeply committed to the broader struggle for equality. These egalitarian(More)
Cliff effects in the Internal Revenue Code trigger a sudden increase of federal tax liability when some attribute of a taxpayer—most commonly income—exceeds a particular threshold value. As a result, two taxpayers in nearly identical economic situations can face considerably different tax liabilities depending on which side of the triggering criterion they(More)
In the pre-modern Middle East the closest thing to an autonomous private organization was the Islamic waqf. This non-state institution inhibited political participation, collective action, and rule of law, among other indicators of democratization. It did so through several mechanisms. Its activities were essentially set by its founder, which limited its(More)