The Atlantic

How Norwegians and Americans See Inequality Differently

According to a recent study, the former are much less comfortable with the idea of luck determining well-being.
Source: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Norway, like many European states, has public offerings many Americans would consider political fantasy. There is lengthy paid maternity leave, free university education, and long-term unemployment benefits. What is it about the Norwegian state—or about Scandinavian countries in general—that leads their populations to support redistribution policies in a way that Americans don’t?

A group of Scandinavian researchers recently did an experiment trying to tease that out. Their goal: to find out how social attitudes towards inequality in the U.S. and Norway differ, in an effort to explain why the two countries have such different redistribution policies. The

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