Preferences for Redistribution Across EU Member States

Preferences for Redistribution Across EU Member States: Perceptions, Self-Interest, and Identities


Peter Selb, Dirk Leuffen, Thomas Hinz


Julian Schuessler


01.10.2019 - 31.09.2021


EXC 2035 The Politics of Inequality


EUR 109,000


While it has been established that objective inequality correlates with general Euroscepticism, the literature so far has not paid attention to the essential role of individuals’ perceptions of economic fundamentals when it comes to forming preferences for redistribution in the EU. In this project, we propose to widen the perspective on this phenomenon theoretically, and to study it empirically using insights and techniques from behavioural economics and psychology. There, the bias of individual beliefs about their position in the national (income) distribution is well documented, and randomized information treatments have been used to change such beliefs, and thereby study their impact on preferences (Hauser and Norton 2017, Karadja et al. 2017). Our project suggests to run a compact cross-national survey experiment implementing this approach to inform the theoretical debate on the causes of EU redistribution preferences, and to also generate first descriptive evidence on mass beliefs about inequality in the EU.