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Kenneth F. Scheve
Journal Articles

What Determines Climate Policy Preferences if Reducing Greenhouse-Gas Emissions Is a Global Public Good?

Michael Bechtel, Kenneth F. Scheve, Elisabeth van Lieshout
SSRN , 2020

Many international policy problems, including climate change, have been characterized as global public goods. We adopt this theoretical framework to identify the baseline determinants of individual opinion about climate policy. The model implies that support for climate action will be increasing in future benefits, their timing, and the probability that a given country's contribution will make a difference while decreasing in expected costs.

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Journal Articles

Measuring Time Preferences in Large Surveys

Michael M. Bechtel, Amalie Jensen, Kenneth F. Scheve
SSRN , 2019

Time preferences may explain public opinion about a wide range of long-term policy problems whose costs and benefits will be realized in the distant future. However, mass publics may discount these costs and benefits because they are later or because they are more uncertain. Standard methods to elicit individual-level time preferences tend to conflate attitudes toward risk and time and are susceptible to social desirability bias. A potential solution relies on a costly lab-experimental method, convex time budgets (CTB).

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Journal Articles

Inequality and redistribution behavior in a give-or-take game

Michael Bechtel, Roman Liesch, Kenneth F. Scheve
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , 2018

Why has economic inequality risen dramatically over the past few decades even in democracies where individuals could vote for more redistribution? We experimentally study how individuals respond to inequality and find that subjects generally take from richer and give to poorer individuals. However, this behavior removes only a fraction of inequality. Moreover, individuals who give to those who are poorer are generally not the same individuals who also take from others who are richer.

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Journal Articles

Interests, Norms and Support for the Provision of Global Public Goods: The Case of Climate Co-operation

Michael M. Bechtel, Federica Genovese, Kenneth F. Scheve
British Journal of Political Science , 2017

Mitigating climate change requires countries to provide a global public good. This means that the domestic cleavages underlying mass attitudes toward international climate policy are a central determinant of its provision. We argue that the industry-specific costs of emission abatement and internalized social norms help explain support for climate policy.

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Journal Articles

Wealth Inequality and Democracy

Kenneth F. Scheve, David Stasavage
Annual Review of Political Science , 2017

What do we know about wealth inequality and democracy? Our review shows that the simple conjectures that democracy produces wealth equality and that wealth inequality leads to democratic failure are not supported by the evidence. Why are democracy and high levels of wealth inequality sustainable together? Three key features of democratic politics can make this outcome possible. When societies are divided along cleavages other than wealth, this can inhibit the adoption of wealth-equalizing policies.

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Journal Articles

Wealth Inequality and Democracy

Kenneth F. Scheve, David Stasavage
Annual Review of Political Science , 2017

What do we know about wealth inequality and democracy? Our review shows that the simple conjectures that democracy produces wealth equality and that wealth inequality leads to democratic failure are not supported by the evidence. Why are democracy and high levels of wealth inequality sustainable together? Three key features of democratic politics can make this outcome possible. When societies are divided along cleavages other than wealth, this can inhibit the adoption of wealth-equalizing policies.

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Working Papers

Interests, Norms, and Mass Support for International Climate Policy.

Michael M. Bechtel, Federica Genovese, Kenneth F. Scheve
Social Science Research Network , 2016

Mitigating climate change requires countries to provide a global public good. This means that the domestic cleavages underlying mass attitudes toward international climate policy are a central determinant of its provision. We argue that the industry-specific costs of emission abatement and internalized social norms help explain support for climate policy.

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Journal Articles

The Structure of American Income Tax Policy Preferences

Cameron Ballard-Rosa, Lucy Martin, Kenneth F. Scheve
The Journal of Politics , 2016

In recent decades inequality in the United States has increased dramatically, but policy responses in terms of redistribution have been limited. This is not easily explained by standard political economy theory, which predicts a positive relationship between inequality and redistribution. One set of explanations for this puzzle focuses on whether and why redistributive preferences are muted in the presence of high inequality. While much recent research has focused on citizens’ preferences over government spending, we argue that preferences over taxation are a central piece of this puzzle.

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Journal Articles

Self-Centered Inequity Aversion and the Mass Politics of Taxation

Xiabo Lü, Kenneth F. Scheve
Comparative Political Studies , 2016

The politics of economic crises brings distributive economic conflict to the fore of national political debates. How policy should be used to transfer resources between citizens becomes a central political question, and the answers chosen often influence the trajectory of policy for a generation. This context provides an ideal setting for evaluating the importance of self-interest and other-regarding preferences in shaping public opinion about economic policy.

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Commentary

Economic Fairness and America’s Presidential Election

Kenneth F. Scheve, David Stasavage
Project Syndicate , 2016

As the American presidential election nears, Stanford political scientist and TEC director Kenneth Scheve and David Stasavage (New York University) argue that the next president could deal with voter resentment by ending lower effective tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.

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Books

Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe

Kenneth F. Scheve, David Stasavage
Princeton University Press , 2016

In today's social climate of acknowledged and growing inequality, why are there not greater efforts to tax the rich? In this wide-ranging and provocative book, Kenneth Scheve and David Stasavage ask when and why countries tax their wealthiest citizens—and their answers may surprise you.

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Working Papers

Self-Centered Inequity Aversion and the Mass Politics of Taxation

Kenneth F. Scheve, Kenneth F. Scheve, Xiaobo Lü
2014

The politics of economic crises bring distributive economic conflict to the fore of national political debates. How policy should be used to transfer resources between citizens becomes a central political question and the answers chosen often influence the trajectory of policy for a generation. This context provides an ideal setting for evaluating the importance of self-interest and other-regarding preferences in shaping public opinion about economic policy. This paper investigates whether self-centered inequity aversion along with self-interest influences individual tax policy opinions.

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Journal Articles

Mass Support for Global Climate Agreements Depends on Institutional Design

Michael Bechtel, Kenneth F. Scheve
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , 2013

Effective climate mitigation requires international cooperation, and these global efforts need broad public support to be sustainable over the long run. We provide estimates of public support for different types of climate agreements in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Using data from a large-scale experimental survey, we explore how three key dimensions of global climate cooperation—costs and distribution, participation, and enforcement—affect individuals’ willingness to support these international efforts.

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Working Papers

Public Goods, Reciprocity, and the Causal Effect of Expected Cooperation in Representative Samples

Kenneth F. Scheve, Michael Bechtel

Voluntary cooperation in public goods problems crucially affects the functioning and long-term fate of economic and political systems. Previous research emphasizes that cooperation in public goods games correlates with expectations about cooperation by others among students and other selected demographic subgroups. However, determining if this reciprocity effect is causal and a general feature of individual behavior requires the use of randomized experiments in combination with large-scale samples that are representative of the population.

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Journal Articles

Technology and the Era of the Mass Army

Massimiliano Gaetano Onorato, Kenneth Scheve, David Stasavage
Journal of Economic History ,

This article investigates how technology has influenced the size of armies. During the nineteenth century, the development of the railroad made it possible to field and support mass armies, significantly increasing the observed size of military forces. During the late twentieth century, further advances in technology made it possible to deliver explosive force from a distance and with precision, making mass armies less desirable. The authors find support for their technological account using a new data set covering thirteen great powers between 1600 and 2000.

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