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  • 1. Gärtner, Manja
    et al.
    Mollerstrom, Johanna
    Seim, David
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Nationalekonomiska institutionen. Research Institute for Industrial Economics (IFN), Sweden.
    Individual risk preferences and the demand for redistribution2017Ingår i: Journal of Public Economics, ISSN 0047-2727, E-ISSN 1879-2316, Vol. 153, s. 49-55Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Redistributive policies can provide an insurance against future negative economic shocks. This, in turn, implies that an individual's demand for redistribution is expected to increase with her risk aversion. To test this prediction, we elicit risk aversion and demand for redistribution through a well-established set of measures in a representative sample of the Swedish population. We document a statistically significant and robust positive relation between risk aversion and the demand for redistribution that is also economically important. We show that previously used proxies for risk aversion (such as being an entrepreneur or having a history of unemployment) do not capture the effect of our measure of risk aversion but have distinctly different effects on the demand for redistribution. We also show evidence indicating that risk aversion can explain significant parts of the well-studied relations between age and gender on the one hand and demand for redistribution on the other.

  • 2.
    Gärtner, Manja
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Nationalekonomiska institutionen.
    Möllerström, Johanna
    Seim, David
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Nationalekonomiska institutionen.
    Risk preferences and the demand for redistributionManuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    If individuals view redistributive policy as an insurance against future negative economic shocks, then the demand for redistribution increases in individual risk aversion. We provide a direct test of the correlation between the demand for redistribution and individual risk aversion in a customized survey and find that they are strongly and robustly positively correlated: more risk averse people demand more redistribution. We also replicate the results from previous literature and, on the one hand, find that the demand for redistribution is positively correlated with altruism, the belief that individual economic success is the result of luck rather than effort, a working-class parental background and downward mobility experience and expectations. On the other hand, preferences for redistribution are negatively correlated with income, a conservative political ideology and upward mobility experience and expectations. The magnitude of the correlation between risk aversion and the demand for redistribution is comparable to the magnitude of these previously identified, and here replicated, correlates.

  • 3. Karadja, Mounir
    et al.
    Möllerström, Johanna
    Seim, David
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Nationalekonomiska institutionen. CEPR, and Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Sweden.
    Richer (and Holier) Than Thou? The Effect of Relative Income Improvements on Demand for Redistribution2017Ingår i: Review of Economics and Statistics, ISSN 0034-6535, E-ISSN 1530-9142, Vol. 99, nr 2, s. 201-212Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    We use a tailor-made survey on a Swedish sample to investigate how individuals' relative income affects their demand for redistribution. We first document that a majority misperceive their position in the income distribution and believe that they are poorer, relative to others, than they actually are. We then inform a subsample about their true relative income and find that individuals who are richer than they initially thought demand less redistribution. This result is driven by individuals with prior right-of-center political preferences who view taxes as distortive and believe that effort, rather than luck, drives individual economic success.

  • 4.
    Karadja, Mounir
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutet för internationell ekonomi.
    Möllerström, Johanna
    Seim, David
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Nationalekonomiska institutionen.
    Richer (and Holier) Than Thou? The Effect of Relative Income Improvements on Demand for Redistribution2014Rapport (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    We study the extent to which people are misinformed about their relative position in the income distribution and the effects on preferences for redistribution of correcting faulty beliefs. We implement a tailor-made survey in Sweden and document that a vast majority of Swedes believe that they are poorer, relative to others, than they actually are. This is true across groups, but younger, poorer, less cognitively able and less educated individuals have perceptions that are further from reality. Using a second survey, we conduct an experiment by randomly informing a subsample about their true relative income position. Respondents who learn that they are richer than they thought demand less redistribution and increase their support for the Conservative party.

    This result is entirely driven by prior right-of-center political preferences and not by altruism or moral values about redistribution. Moreover, the effect can be reconciled by people with political preferences to the right-of-center being more likely to view taxes as distortive and to believe that it is personal effort rather than luck that is most influential for individual economic success.

  • 5.
    Lagerås, Andreas
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Matematiska institutionen.
    Seim, David
    University of Toronto, Canada; Research Institute for Industrial Economics, Sweden.
    Strategic complementarities, network games and endogenous network formation2016Ingår i: International Journal of Game Theory, ISSN 0020-7276, E-ISSN 1432-1270, Vol. 45, nr 3, s. 497-509Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates the role of strategic complementarities in the context of network games and network formation models. In the general model of static games on networks, we characterize conditions on the utility function that ensure the existence and uniqueness of a pure-strategy Nash equilibrium, regardless of the network structure. By applying the game to empirically-relevant networks that feature nestedness—Nested Split Graphs—we show that equilibrium strategies are non-decreasing in the degree. We extend the framework into a dynamic setting, comprising a game stage and a formation stage, and provide general conditions for the network process to converge to a Nested Split Graph with probability one, and for this class of networks to be an absorbing state. The general framework presented in the paper can be applied to models of games on networks, models of network formation, and combinations of the two.

  • 6.
    Nordvall Lagerås, Andreas
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Matematiska institutionen.
    Seim, David
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutet för internationell ekonomi.
    How do Interactions Influence Formation of Social Networks?: A General Microfounded Explanation2009Rapport (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates the strategic interaction effects that precede network formation. We find that for a general class of payoff functions which, among other things, feature strict supermodularity, the degree of a node is a sufficient statistic for the action it undertakes. Dynamically, we construct a general model where each period consists of two stages: first, a game on the given network is played and second, a link is either created or severed. It turns out that the payoff functions we consider give absolute convergence to the absorbing class of networks called nested split graphs. These networks do not only possess mathematically tractable characteristics, but we can also interpret real-world networks as perturbed nested split graphs. The general framework provided here can be applied to more or less complex models of network formation.

  • 7.
    Seim, David
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Nationalekonomiska institutionen. Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Sweden; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), UK.
    Behavioral Responses to Wealth Taxes: Evidence from Sweden2017Ingår i: American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, ISSN 1945-7731, E-ISSN 1945-774X, Vol. 9, nr 4, s. 395-421Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper provides an empirical assessment of an annual wealth tax. Using Swedish administrative data, I estimate net-of-tax-rate elasticities of taxable wealth in the range [0.09, 0.27]. Cross-checking self-reported assets against asset data unavailable to the tax agency reveals that around a third of the elasticity estimates are due to underreporting of asset values. Difference-in-difference designs further suggest that the responses reflect evasion and avoidance rather than changes in saving.

  • 8.
    Seim, David
    Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Nationalekonomiska institutionen. Stockholms universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutet för internationell ekonomi.
    Essays on Public, Political and Labor Economics2013Doktorsavhandling, monografi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis contains four essays.

    The first paper, "Real or Evasion Responses to the Wealth Tax? Theory and Evidence from Sweden", addresses the behavioral effects of an annual wealth tax. I use Swedish tax records over the period 1999-2006 and two sources of variation in the tax rate to estimate the elasticity of taxable net wealth at about 0.3. I decompose the effects into reporting and savings responses and find that an increase in the tax is likely to stimulate evasion. Using military enlistment records on cognitive ability, I find that high-skilled individuals respond more to the tax.

    The second paper, "Job Displacement and Labor Market Outcomes by Skill Level", uses previously unexplored administrative data on all displaced workers in Sweden 2002-2004 to estimate how the incidence and effects of job loss depend on cognitive and noncognitive skills. I find that workers with low ability are significantly more likely to be displaced but the recovery rates upon job loss show no significant differences across skill groups.

    The third paper, "Complementary Roles of Connections and Performance in Political Selection in China", analyzes who becomes a top politician in China. It focuses on the promotions of provincial leaders and estimates how performance - measured by provincial economic growth – and connections with top politicians – measured by having worked together in the past – influence promotions. Using data for the period 1993-2009, we find a positive correlation between promotion and growth that is stronger for connected leaders.

    The fourth paper, "Does the Demand for Redistribution Rise or Fall with Cognitive Ability?", uses data from enlistment and a tailor-made survey that elicits redistributional preferences. On a scale of 0 to 100 percent redistribution, a one standard deviation increase in cognitive ability lowers demand by 6 percentage points, also when controlling for past, current and future expected income.

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