Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/191357
Authors: 
Gualtieri, Giovanni
Nicolini, Marcella
Sabatini, Fabio
Zamparelli, Luca
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
Working Paper No. 015.2018
Abstract: 
The literature shows that when a society believes that wealth is determined by random “luck” rather than by merit, it demands more redistribution. Adverse shocks, like earthquakes, strengthen the belief that random “bad luck” can frustrate the outcomes achieved with merit. We theoretically illustrate that individuals react to such shocks by raising support for redistribution. We then present evidence of this behavior by exploiting a natural experiment provided by one of the strongest seismic events that occurred in Italy in the last three decades, the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009. We assemble a novel dataset by matching information on the ground acceleration registered throughout the National Strong Motion Network during the earthquake with survey data about individual opinions on redistribution collected a few months later. The empirical analysis illustrates that the intensity of the shakes is associated with subsequent stronger beliefs that, for a society to be fair, income inequalities should be levelled by redistribution.
Subjects: 
Fairness
Redistribution
Inequality
Natural Disasters
Earthquakes
JEL: 
H10
H53
D63
D69
Z1
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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