The international success of the recent Thomas Piketty’s book (Piketty, 2014, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Harvard University Press) is a clear indication that inequality is still continuing to be a major preoccupation throughout the World. The long run increase in wealth inequalities documented
by Piketty in developed countries is reinforced by the recent sharp increases in income inequality. Nevertheless, even if we all accept that income inequality has risen, very different views exist on the attitudes the governments should adopt with respect to it. How do individuals perceive inequalities?
Do we have to consider all inequalities as unfair? In parallel to the worsening of the income and wealth inequalities, the last decades have also been characterised by increased social risks. These essentially originate in the profound changes in the labour market structure that go along with a deterioration of the unemployment rates. Hence, even if individuals are concerned with fairness considerations, it is not clear to what extent preferences for redistribution can be associated with such motives. Redistribution can be perceived as social insurance, and thus risk aversion of the individuals may came into
play. The project aims at shedding new light on the preferences for redistribution, by providing a better description of people’s perceptions of inequality and social risks. The benefits for society of the project would be to provide the social planner with implementable social decision rules which reflect
the individual preferences for redistribution, that can be used in public policy making.
Centre d’Economie de l’Environnement Montpellier (Laboratoire public)
The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.
Centre d’Economie de l’Environnement Montpellier
Help of the ANR 144,560 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2015 - 48 Months