What Do People Believe That Others (Should) Earn? Multifactorial Survey Experiments on Beliefs About Actual and Fair Earnings¶

Short Description: This module addresses the topic of individuals’ inequality perceptions with respect to gross and net earnings. Not only can we assess respondents’ beliefs what different groups of individuals earn, but also their beliefs about earnings returns to a wide range of relevant characteristics, such as occupations, working hours, family status, and gender: Do respondents experience particular groups to be over- or underpaid (e.g. highly educated men in Western Germany, or single mothers in part-time work)?

Methodological Details: Respondents are asked to evaluate short descriptions (vignettes) of hypothetical individuals that differ in experimentally varied characteristics, such as their working hours, family status, gender, and occupations. Specifically, in a first step respondents are asked whether the gross and net incomes of these individuals are realistic or whether they are unrealistically low or high. In a second step, we ask the respondents to assess whether the gross and net incomes are fair (or unfairly too low or high).