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Knowing One'S Lot In Life Versus Climbing The Social Ladder: The Formation Of Redistributive Preferences In Urban China

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  • Russell Smyth
  • Xiaolei Qian

Abstract

This paper examines how individual preferences for redistribution depend on beliefs about what determines one's lot in life and self-assessed prospects for climbing the social ladder in urban China. We find that both beliefs about what determines one's lot in life and subjective perceptions of future mobility are correlated with the formation of left-wing beliefs and, by extension, preferences for redistribution. We find that the marginal effects of the variables measuring one's lot in life are larger than self-assessed prospects for climbing the social ladder. These findings are robust to the inclusion of control variables for the personal characteristics of the respondent, including his or her ideology, and the location in which he or she lives.

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File URL: http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/eco/research/papers/2008/0508redistributionsmythqianprint.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 05/08.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 02 Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2008-05

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Keywords: Equal opportunities; Redistribution; Mobility.;

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References

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  1. Hirschman, Albert O., 1973. "The changing tolerance for income inequality in the course of economic development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 1(12), pages 29-36, December.
  2. John Knight & Linda Yueh & Linda Y. Yueh, 2003. "Job Mobility of Residents and Migrants in Urban China," Economics Series Working Papers 163, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Piketty, Thomas & Qian, Nancy, 2006. "Income Inequality and Progressive Income Taxation in China and India, 1986-2015," CEPR Discussion Papers 5703, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Tella, Rafael Di & Donna, Javier & MacCulloch, Robert, 2008. "Crime and beliefs: Evidence from Latin America," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 566-569, June.
  5. Angeletos, George-Marios & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," Scholarly Articles 4553009, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Allen, Franklin & Qian, Jun & Qian, Meijun, 2005. "Law, finance, and economic growth in China," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 57-116, July.
  7. 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.
  8. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Who wants to redistribute?: The tunnel effect in 1990s Russia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 87-104, April.
  9. Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
  10. Corneo, Giacomo & Grüner, Hans Peter, 2001. "Individual Preferences for Political Redistribution," CEPR Discussion Papers 2694, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. King, Gary & Zeng, Langche, 2001. "Explaining Rare Events in International Relations," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 55(03), pages 693-715, June.
  12. Fuchs-Schundeln, Nicola & Alesina, Alberto, 2007. "Good-Bye Lenin (Or Not?): The Effect of Communism on People's Preferences," Scholarly Articles 4553032, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Appleton, Simon & Knight, John & Song, Lina & Xia, Qingjie, 2002. "Labor retrenchment in China: Determinants and consequences," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 252-275.
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Cited by:
  1. Wenshu Gao & Russell Smyth, 2009. "Job Satisfaction And Relative Income In Economic Transition: Status Or Signal? The Case Of Urban China," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 12-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.

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