GINI DP 7: Income Distributions, Inequality Perceptions and Redistributive Claims in European Societies
AbstractIn this paper we analyse how redistributive preference relates to actual income and to its distribution. For measuring the relationship on macro level, we deﬁ ne distance based measures of income inequality (P-ratios, based on data from LIS) and test them for their direct and for their contextual effects on aggregate (country level) and on individual redistributive claims. For measuring redistributive preference we develop a composite index using available public opinion (Eurobarometer) data for the European Union member states. On macro level there is a continued and high support of state redistribution in many European countries but the cross-country variance is also high. Preferences for redistribution correspond to various aspects of inequality (most notably, to the extent and depth of relative poverty). On micro level the redistributive preference, while mostly derived from rational self interest (material position, labour market status, expected mobility), is also driven by general attitudes about the role of personal responsibility in one’s own fate and by general beliefs about causes of poverty and the like. While the afﬂ uent, the middle and the poor have different appetite for redistribution everywhere, the distance between their attitudes also seems to be determined by the distance between their relative positions (ranks in the distribution). In countries having larger level of aggregate inequalities the general redistributive preference (of the rich, of the middle and of the poor) is higher, however in countries with very high levels of inequalities the difference in redistribution preference begins to decrease, which is a hint for a curvilinear relationship. The slope of this socioeconomic gradient seems, however, steeper in countries with middle inequality levels. The results of the paper can contribute to a reﬁ nement of the predictions developed in the frame of the median voter theorem and, via this, to a better understanding of political processes. JEL Classification: D31, D63, H3
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies in its series GINI Discussion Papers with number 7.
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Valentino Larcinese, 2007. "Voting over Redistribution and the Size of the Welfare State: The Role of Turnout," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 55, pages 568-585, October.
- Milanovic, Branko, 2010.
"Four critiques of the redistribution hypothesis: An assessment,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 147-154, March.
- Milanovic, Branko, 2009. "Four critiques of the redistribution hypothesis : an assessment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5145, The World Bank.
- Bénabou, Roland & Ok, Efe A, 1998.
"Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: the POUM Hypothesis,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Roland Bénabou & Efe A. Ok, 2001. "Social Mobility And The Demand For Redistribution: The Poum Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 447-487, May.
- Bénabou, Roland & Ok, Efe, 1997. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution : the POUM Hypothesis," IDEI Working Papers 78, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 1999.
- Roland Benabou & Efe A. Ok, 1998. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: The POUM Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 6795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2001.
"Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1936, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 897-931, June.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2001. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," NBER Working Papers 8267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," CEPR Discussion Papers 3155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Working Papers 178, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 187-278.
- Claudia Senik, 2005. "Income distribution and well-being: what can we learn from subjective data?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 43-63, 02.
- Corneo, Giacomo & Gruner, Hans Peter, 2002.
"Individual preferences for political redistribution,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 83-107, January.
- Corneo, Giacomo & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2001. "Individual Preferences for Political Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2694, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Rainald Borck, 2007.
"Voting, Inequality And Redistribution,"
Journal of Economic Surveys,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 90-109, 02.
- La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Javier Olivera, 2012. "Preferences for Redistribution in Europe," Working Papers 201225, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiemer Salverda).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.