We elicit the welfare weights assigned by the general population of the U.S. using a real-stakes experiment. Welfare weights measure the relative social value of providing individuals with an additional dollar of consumption. These weights can be directly used to evaluate the desirability of reforms in domains such as taxation and cash transfers. We find that the general population weights are more progressive than the weights implied by tax and transfer policies in the U.S., indicating that the general population desires additional redistribution. The general population weights are less progressive than those frequently used in the literature. We explore the implications of these weights for optimal income taxes.
Who Deserves a Tax Break and Why? Evidence on Preferences for Taxing Personal Characteristics (with Julien Senn)
Paternalism: Determinants of Demand and Supply (with Björn Bartling )
What Motivates Censorship? (with Francesco Capozza )