Our research reveals that people all over the world prefer less inequality – in wealth, health, and income. For example, Americans report an ideal CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 7:1 while the actual ratio is more than 300:1, and consumers prefer to buy from firms with lower pay ratios. Increasing awareness of current inequality shifts preferences toward policies that reduce it.
Michael I. Norton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He has studied human behavior in domains such as love and inequality, time and money, and happiness and grief. He is the co-author – with Elizabeth Dunn – of the book, Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending. In 2012, he was selected for Wired Magazine’s Smart List as one of “50 People Who Will Change the World” and his TEDx talk, How to Buy Happiness, has been viewed more than 3 million times.