Australian National University and Oxfam: Income Inequality Study

The first ever study using randomized control trials to determine the effects of information interventions regarding income inequality and wealth distribution was conducted by RIWI in partnership with the Australian National University and Oxfam.

Using RIWI’s Random Domain Intercept Technology™ (RDIT™), over 30,000 people across 9 countries were surveyed on their opinions about income inequality in their country. A mix of middle and high-income countries were selected for this study: India, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Spain, South Africa, and the United States. This is the first study to present a wide sample of middle-income countries, while surveying respondents at this scale.

The results of the survey show that misperceptions about income inequality exist among all citizens, regardless of demographics such as age, gender, political preference, and education level. Among respondents in high-income countries, the information interventions had profound effects on the belief and support for wealth redistribution. In the middle-income countries, there is no statistically significant variance in support for redistribution between treatment groups.

The full working paper, including datasets and the information interventions used can be accessed through the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute housed in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University: Can information about inequality and social mobility change preferences for redistribution?

Image source: Oxfam Blogs