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Noblesse Oblige? Preferences for Income Redistribution among Urban Residents in India

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  • Takahiro Ito

    (Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University)

  • Kohei Kubota

    (Faculty of Education, Art and Science, Yamagata University)

  • Fumio Ohtake

    (Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University)

Abstract

Using an original dataset, we investigate the determinants of individual preferences for income redistribution in India. Our results suggest that the preferences of Indians for income redistribution are not really based on monetary motives. We found that people who have had negative experiences or perceptions of their future economic situation favour greater redistribution and people in a good economic (past, current, and future) condition also show a favourable attitude towards redistribution. In short, economically advantaged people seem to behave in a socially responsible manner. This 'noblesse oblige' effect can be explained mostly by prevalent social and religious beliefs.

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File URL: http://ir.lib.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/metadb/up/ZZT00001/IDEC-DP2_01-8.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hiroshima University, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC) in its series IDEC DP2 Series with number 1-8.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision: Mar 2013
Handle: RePEc:hir:idecdp:1-8

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Web page: http://www.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/en/idec/
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Keywords: Government redistribution of income; Social preference; Relative economic position; Noblesse oblige; India;

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References

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  1. Alberto F. Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bénabou, Roland & Ok, Efe A, 1998. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: the POUM Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 1955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 897-931, June.
  4. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India 04-17, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
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  7. Fumio Ohtake & Jun Tomioka, 2004. "Who Supports Redistribution?," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 333-354.
  8. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  9. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Working Papers, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago 9902, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  10. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Who wants to redistribute?: The tunnel effect in 1990s Russia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 87-104, April.
  11. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer & Rohini Somanathan, 2005. "History, Social Divisions, and Public Goods in Rural India," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 639-647, 04/05.
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  14. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Bjorn Bartling & Ernst Fehr & Michel Andre Marechal & Daniel Schunk, 2009. "Egalitarianism and Competitiveness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 93-98, May.
  16. Takahiro Ito, 2007. "Caste Discrimination and Transaction Costs in the Labor Market: Evidence from Rural North India," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University d06-200, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  17. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
  18. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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