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Inequality Aversion and Voting on Redistribution

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Author Info

  • Wolfgang Höchtl

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Rupert Sausgruber

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (University of Vienna)

Abstract

Some people have a concern for a fair distribution of incomes while others do not. Does such a concern matter for majority voting on redistribution? Fairness preferences are relevant for redistribution outcomes only if fair-minded voters are pivotal. Pivotality, in turn, depends on the structure of income classes. We experimentally study voting on redistribution between two income classes and show that the effect of inequality aversion is asymmetric. Inequality aversion is more likely to matter if the “rich” are in majority. With a “poor” majority, we find that redistribution outcomes look as if all voters were exclusively motivated by self-interest.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 11-18.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1118

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Keywords: redistribution; self interest; inequality aversion; median voter; experiment;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Dittmann, Ingolf & Kübler, Dorothea & Maug, Ernst & Mechtenberg, Lydia, 2014. "Why votes have value: Instrumental voting with overconfidence and overestimation of others' errors," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 17-38.
  2. Loukas Balafoutas & Martin G. Kocher & Louis Putterman & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Equality, equity, and incentives: An experiment," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-13, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  3. Marina Agranov & Thomas R. Palfrey, 2014. "Equilibrium Tax Rates and Income Redistribution: A Laboratory Study," NBER Working Papers 19918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fabian Paetzel & Rupert Sausgruber & Stefan Traub, 2014. "Social Preferences and Voting on Reform: An Experimental Study," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp172, Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics.
  5. Rupert Sausgruber & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2013. "Discriminatory Taxes are Unpopular - Even when they are Efficient and Distributionally Fair," Discussion Papers 13-14, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  6. Neil Buckley & Katherine Cuff & Jeremiah Hurley & Stuart Mestelman & Stephanie Thomas & David Cameron, 2013. "Support for Public Provision with Top-Up and Opt-Out: A Controlled Laboratory Experiment," Department of Economics Working Papers 2013-15, McMaster University.
  7. Christos Bilanakos, 2012. "Consumers’ Heterogeneity, Publicness of Goods and the Size of Public Sector," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 18-2012, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
  8. Marcelo Tyszler & Arthur Schram, 2013. "Strategic Voting in Heterogeneous Electorates: An Experimental Study," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 624-647, November.

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