Starting from the axiomatization of polarization contained in Esteban and Ray (1994) and Chakravarty and Majumder (2001), we investigate whether people's perceptions of income polarization are consistent with the key axioms. This is carried out using a questionnaire–experimental approach that combines both paper questionnaires and on-line interactive techniques. The responses suggest that important axioms which serve to differentiate polarization from inequality—e.g. increased bipolarization—as well as other distinctive features of polarization, i.e. the non-monotonous behavior attributed to polarization, are not widely accepted
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