Institution for Social and Policy Studies

Advancing Research • Shaping Policy • Developing Leaders

American Politics & Public Policy Workshop: Mary McGrath, “Inequality and the Role of Collaboration in Sharing the Spoils”

Event time: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 5:00pm through 6:15pm
Event description: 

“Inequality and the Role of Collaboration in Sharing the Spoils”

Speaker: Mary McGrath, Graduate Student in Political Science, Yale University

Abstract: Wealth and power are unequally distributed.  What makes those who have more share their resources with those who have less?  A leading hypothesis is the “accountability principle”: the deserving poor are those who put in the requisite effort and nevertheless end up at a disadvantage.  But recent evidence from developmental psychology suggests that effort alone is not enough.  A potential donor’s willingness to share resources depends not just on the recipient having worked, but having worked collaboratively with the donor toward some shared goal.  I present results from a real-effort dictator game testing the effect of collaboration on willingness to share.  I find that collaborative work increases the amount of money shared with a partner.

Mary McGrath is a graduate student in the Political Science Department, and has a Master’s degree from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

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