Distributing the wealth

Posted: 24 September 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Americans, as it turns out, are pretty egalitarian when it comes to the distribution of the nation’s wealth.

Dan Ariely and Michael I. Norton (pdf) have just completed a study [ht: mg] in which they demonstrate both that Americans underestimate the current level of wealth inequality in the United States and that they prefer a more equal distribution than exists right now.

First, a large nationally representative sample of Americans seem to prefer to live in a country more like Sweden than like the United States. Americans also construct ideal distributions that are far more equal than they estimated the United States to be – estimates which themselves were far more equal than the actual level of inequality. Second, across groups from different sides of the political spectrum, there was much more consensus than disagreement about this desire for a more equal distribution of wealth, suggesting that Americans may possess a commonly held “normative” standard for the distribution of wealth despite the many disagreements about policies that affect that distribution, such as taxation and welfare.

Here, according to Ariely and Norton, is the actual U.S. wealth distribution plotted against the estimated and ideal distributions across all respondents:

Now, the question is, how do we achieve the kind of economy and society associated with the more equal distribution of wealth most Americans want?

Comments
  1. […] discussed the study the creator of this video is referring to back in 2010, and then again in […]

  2. This article will help the internet people for creating new
    blog or even a blog from start to end.

  3. I’ve been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s
    pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the
    net will be much more useful than ever before.

  4. Fantastic blog you have here but I was wondering if
    you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article?
    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get advice from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thank you!

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about uk indefinite leave to remain exam.
    Regards

  6. […] This is Colin Gordon’s presentation of the data presented in the essay on Americans’ perceptions of inequality by Dan Ariely and Michael I. Norton. […]

  7. […] a now-famous study (and video-gone-viral presentation by Colin Gordon), Dan Ariely and Michael I. Norton showed both that Americans underestimate the current level of wealth inequality in the United […]

  8. […] we also know, since at least the pioneering study by Dan Ariely and Michael I. Norton, that people’s beliefs about inequality are quite different from actual levels of inequality. […]

  9. […] may not know the exact numbers (e.g., about wealth inequality or the CEO-to-worker pay gap). But, as it turns out, they’re very clear that their country […]

  10. […] a famous study, which I wrote about back in 2010, Dan Ariely and Michael I. Norton showed that Americans both underestimate the […]

  11. […] a famous study, which I wrote about back in 2010, Dan Ariely and Michael I. Norton showed that Americans both underestimate […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s