Monday, September 27, 2010

Over 90 percent of Americans would prefer Swedish model

An interesting new piece of research from Michael I. Norton of the Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University, who asked a survey group to estimate the current distribution of wealth in the United States and to “build a better America” by constructing distributions with their ideal level of inequality. The results?

"These results demonstrate two primary messages. First, a large nationally representative sample of Americans seem to prefer to live in a country more like Sweden than like the United States. . . Second, across groups from different sides of the political spectrum, there was much more consensus than disagreement about this desire for a more equal distribution of wealth, suggesting that Americans may possess a commonly held “normative” standard for the distribution of wealth despite the many disagreements about policies that affect that distribution, such as taxation and welfare."

It also demonstrates that U.S. citizens of all stripes drastically underestimate the level of inequality that actually exists.

Hat tip: Raw Story


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