Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 231–255 | Cite as

Do we value mobility?

  • Yoram Amiel
  • Michele Bernasconi
  • Frank Cowell
  • Valentino DardanoniEmail author


Is there a trade-off between people’s preference for income equality and income mobility? Testing for the existence of such a trade-off is difficult because mobility is a multifaceted concept. We analyse results from a questionnaire experiment based on simple precise concepts of income inequality and income mobility. We find no direct trade-off in preference between mobility and equality, but an indirect trade-off, applying when more income mobility can only be obtained at the expense of some income inequality. Mobility preference—but not equality preference—appears to be driven by personal experience of mobility.


Income Inequality Marginal Distribution Income Equality Equality Preference Intergenerational Mobility 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Anat Alexandron, Latika Sharma and Yinfei Dong for research assistance. Michele Bernasconi gratefully acknowledges partial support from the Swiss & Global - Ca’ Foscari Foundation. We especially thank the reviewers and the editor for several comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoram Amiel
    • 1
  • Michele Bernasconi
    • 2
  • Frank Cowell
    • 3
  • Valentino Dardanoni
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Economics and ManagementRuppin Academic CenterEmek HeferIsrael
  2. 2.Dipartimento di EconomiaUniversità Ca’ Foscari VeneziaVeneziaItaly
  3. 3.London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)LondonUK
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Aziendali e StatisticheUniversità di PalermoViale delle ScienzeItaly

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