Are people hard-wired for income redistribution?
The experiments went like this. Scientists took pairs of people and gave one of them a big wad of money. Then they wired them up and watched what happened as more cash was handed out.
“People who started out rich had a stronger reaction to other people getting money than to themselves getting money,” Colin Camerer, one of the study’s coauthors, told the Freakonomics blog. “In other words, their brains liked it when others got money more than they liked it when they themselves got money.”
The science part: the circuitry of the brain’s reward centres is sensitive to inequality. The basic finding is that regardless of how much money you have, humans respond better to poor people getting money than rich people.
The study was published in Nature magazine and you can read the abstract here.
So here’s my question: what does this mean for economic policy? Over to you.
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