We experimentally investigate whether people generally perceive inheritance as effort-induced or luck-induced. By randomly matched strangers across two lab sessions, we test whether the data-generating process of opportunity handed down from the ‘first-generation’ subjects determines later redistributive decisions among the ‘second-generation’ subjects. On average, redistribution is highest among the ‘second-generation’ subjects whose chance of winning is determined by pure luck of the paired first-generation. We have evidence that people generally treat inherited opportunity that has been generated by effort in the first-generation as relatively fair. Our results suggest that people are likely to feel deserving of bequests and inheritance unless the randomness of inheritance has been made salient to them.
LocationAula ICS-Siemens Gamesa
SpeakerWarn N. Lekfuangfu (UC3M)
The Inequality and Fairness of Inheritance: An Experiment on Preferences for Redistribution Following Inheritance of Opportunity