Essays on social cohesion, inequality, preferences for redistribution, and prosocial behavior

The dissertation consists of five self-containing chapters in the realm of social cohesion. The first two chapters deal with preferences for redistribution, the first in an analysis of survey data from several countries and the second in an experimental investigation of work effort in the presence of redistribution in a simplified version of a welfare state. The third chapter tests the gift exchange hypothesis with wage inequality in a natural field experiment in Colombia. The fourth chapter analyzes whether racial attitudes are explained by prosocial and discriminating behavior in economic games and how these behavioral measures interact with the effect of protests on support for the Black Lives Matter movement and racial prejudice. Finally, the fifth chapter examines the interactions of political polarization and prosocial behavior with protective behavior and assessments of the governmental response regarding the COVID-19 pandemic at the state and national level, using data from a large-scale survey run in the first summer of the pandemic on a representative sample of the U.S. population.


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