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Some International Evidence on Deviations from Pocketbook Voting and Its Relevance for the Political Economy

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Abstract

This paper empirically investigates whether individuals indeed vote with their pocketbooks. Individual level data from the General Social Survey and the World Values Survey show significant deviations from pocketbook voting even among the poorest and the richest individuals in the sample. Differences in income status, education status, and perceived social mobility explain only a small fraction of the cross-country variation in the preference for income equality. Economically large and statistically significant country effects remain. There is no evidence that the median preference for income equality is more intense when incomes are more unequal or when the regimes are more democratic, a finding that rules out redistributive pressure as an important mechanism through which inequality affects growth under majority rule.

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File URL: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/ecs/pub/wp/wp0103.pdf
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Paper provided by National University of Singapore, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number wp0103.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nus:nusewp:wp0103

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  1. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  2. 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.
  3. Giacomo Corneo, 2000. "Inequality and the State: Comparing U.S. and German Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 398, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
  5. Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
  6. Alesina, Alberto & Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-90, May.
  7. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
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