Although preferences for redistribution have been widely studied in the economic literature, their relationship with risk preferences has received only marginal attention so far. The aim of this work is to provide evidence on this topic using a between-subject laboratory experiment and a fine grid to measure individual risk attitudes. Our findings suggest that the more the people are risk averse, the more they are in favor of redistribution across members of a society that allows upward social mobility, but it is also characterized by uncertainty about the final position in the income ladder. Our interpretation is that individuals exploit redistributive taxation as a form of insurance against uncertainty in the outcome of their effort.
- preferences for redistribution, risk preferences, laboratory experiment