Research outputs

Cattaneo, Cristina, Grieco, Daniela and Daminato, Claudio (2023). “Who Deserves Redistribution? The Role of Prosocial Motives”.



The paper studies whether (and how) redistributive choices aim to reward others’ sacrifice of their own interest for the community’s sake and whether this introduces a trade-off between the willingness to reward cooperation and a pure meritocratic ideal. We design an online social preference experiment and collect information on real redistribution in favor of subjects that differ in relative performance and relative wealth. The reduced-form estimates indicate that cooperative behavior plays a major role in making people deserve redistribution. Furthermore, we find that redistribution to reward cooperation is influenced by the subjects’ wealth. When wealthier subjects show the same (un)cooperative behavior as poorer ones, they are rewarded less (punished more) than poorer ones. To quantify the weight of cooperative behavior in redistribution, we present a simple model and structurally estimate its parameters. We find that a percentage between 37% and 56% of total redistribution is driven by reciprocity concerns.

Cattaneo, Cristina, Grieco, Daniela, Lacetera, Nicola and Macis, Mario (2024). “Out-group Penalties in Refugee Assistance: A Survey Experiment”.



We study out-group biases in attitudes toward refugees, and the effect of European Union (EU) immigration policies on these views, using an online survey experiment including 4,087 Italian participants. We assess attitudes using donations to a randomly assigned group: Italian victims of violence or refugees fleeing wars in Ukraine or African countries. We also employ a novel measure, the share donated in cash. While donations indicated less support for African and Ukrainian refugees compared to Italian victims, the cash measure revealed a stronger prejudice against distant out-groups, with participants giving African refugees a smaller proportion of cash donations. This result was mainly driven by individuals with right-leaning political views. Providing information about immigration policy reforms that give the EU a more substantial role in receiving and allocating refugees had no impact. Textual analysis supports these findings.