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In a 1995 survey of Harvard students and staff, what portion of them said they would prefer to live in a world where they earn $50,000/year while others earn $25,000 rather than in a world where they earn $100,000/year while others earn $200,000?

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A 1995 survey of 247 students and staff at the Harvard School of Public Health found that "approximately 50 percent of the respondents preferred a world in which they had half the real purchasing power, as long as their relative income position was high." The respondents were explicitly told that the "prices" of goods and services are "the same" in both scenarios. In other words, the majority preferred that everyone (including themselves) had much lower standards of living, so long as they lived better than others. The margin of sampling error for these results is plus-or-minus 6 percentage points with at least 95% confidence.

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