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Attitudes to equality : the"socialist legacy"revisited

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  • Murthi, Mamta
  • Tiongson, Erwin R.

Abstract

It is routinely assumed that residents of post-socialist countries have a preference for greater income equality, other things being equal, owing to the legacy of socialism. This proposition is examined in the context of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union using data from three waves of the World Values Survey. Contrary to expectations, the authors find little evidence of a'socialist legacy'en bloc. Considering the former Soviet Union separately from other post-socialist countries, the analysis finds that as a group these countries display significantly lower preference for moving toward greater income equality than both Eastern Europe and other comparator groups (developed and developing countries). These findings hold up even when controlling for the conventional determinants of attitudes such as income level and employment status of the individual respondent, as well as national factors such as per-capita income and its distribution. Moreover, the preference for greater income inequality appears to have persisted at least since the mid-1990s and possibly since the early 1990s (data difficulties preclude a robust examination of this latter question). The results are consistent with the fairly low levels of public spending on redistribution commonly found in the former Soviet Union.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4529.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4529

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Keywords: Access to Finance; Inequality; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Corporate Law;

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Cited by:
  1. Giuliano, Paola & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2009. "Growing Up in a Recession: Beliefs and the Macroeconomy," IZA Discussion Papers 4365, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Asad Alam & Mamta Murthi & Ruslan Yemtsov & Edmundo Murrugarra & Nora Dudwick & Ellen Hamilton & Erwin Tiongson, 2005. "Growth, Poverty and Inequality : Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7287, October.
  3. Neher, Frank, 2011. "Markets wanted: Expectation overshooting in transition," Discussion Papers 2011/1, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  4. Neher, Frank, 2012. "Preferences for redistribution around the world," Discussion Papers 2012/2, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  5. Frank Neher, 2013. "Markets wanted: expectation overshooting in transition economies," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 60(2), pages 187-219, June.
  6. Neher, Frank, 2012. "Preferences for Redistribution around the World," Working Papers 26/2012, Universidade Portucalense, Centro de Investigação em Gestão e Economia (CIGE).

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