DP16805 In Medio Stat Virtus? Effective Communication and Preferences for Redistribution in Hard Times

Author(s): Paola Bertoli, Veronica Grembi, Massimo Morelli, Anna Rosso
Publication Date: December 2021
Keyword(s): Beliefs Update, Scarce Resources Distribution, Sensitivity to Information
JEL(s): D70, D80, D83
Programme Areas: Public Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=16805

This paper evaluates the effects of statistical information on preferences for redistribution of scarce public resources. We refer to scarce resource with reference to the COVID-19 emergency: allocation of the first round of vaccine and the allocation of financial resources provided by the Italian national government to fight the economic emergency triggered by the pandemic. Randomly allocating the information through an online experiment, we show that treated respondents tend to prioritize the group targeted by the information, and they are more likely to do so if they are "in the middle", in terms of age, political preferences, religiosity and education.