What Do Americans Think Should Be Done About Inequality?

Ilyana Kuziemko, Michael Norton, Emmanuel Saez, and Stefanie Stantcheva over at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth:

There are several novel findings that emerge from our survey. When respondents are given the actual data on the growing income gap in the United States, their concern about the problem increases by a staggering 35 percent—an effect equal in size to roughly 36 percent of the liberal-conservative gap on this question. Moreover, viewing information about inequality also significantly influences attitudes toward two redistributive policies: the estate tax and the minimum wage (See Figure 2).

Figure 2

Figure 2

When respondents in the treatment group learn the small share of estates subject to the estate tax (roughly one in 1,000), they support increasing it at three times the rate of the control group—akin to cutting the political gap in half (See Figure 3). This finding is mirrored in a recent study by political scientist John Sides of George Washington University, who finds that accurate information on the small number of families subject to the estate tax substantially reduces support for repealing the tax.

More here.