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Barcelona GSE Working Paper No. 584

Title: (Bad) Luck or (Lack of) Effort?: Comparing Social Sharing Norms between US and Europe
Authors: Pedro Rey-Biel, Roman Sheremeta, Neslihan Uler
Date: 28-09-2011
Keywords: individual giving, cross-cultural, beliefs, laboratory experiment
JEL Codes: C72, C91, D63, D81, H50
Abstract:
We compare the determinants of individual giving between two countries, Spain and the US, which differ in their redistribution policies and their beliefs over the causes of poverty. By varying the information about the determinants of income, we find that, although overall giving is similar in both countries when subjects know the actual role of luck and effort, Spanish subjects give more when they are uninformed compared to American subjects. Using elicited beliefs, we find that this is due to Spanish subjects associating poverty with bad luck and Americans believing that low performers did not work hard enough.
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