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Social mobility and redistributive taxation

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  • Konrad, Kai A.
  • Morath, Florian

Abstract

We investigate redistributive taxation in a political economy experiment and determine how different patterns of social mobility affect the choices of redistributional taxes. In the absence of social mobility, voters choose tax rates that are very well in line with the prediction derived in the standard framework by Meltzer and Richard (1981). However, past or future changes in the income hierarchy affect the choice of the tax rate in the current period. The same is true for social mobility within the period to which the tax rate choice applies and for the case where the choice of the tax rate takes place behind the veil of ignorance. Due to our design of the experiment, these strong effects of own social mobility cannot be attributed to social or other-regarding preferences. -- Dieser Artikel untersucht Besteuerung mit dem Ziel der Einkommensumverteilung in einem polit-ökonomischen Experiment. Wir ananlysieren, wie unterschiedliche Muster sozialer Mobilität die Wahl von Steuern bestimmt, die zur Umverteilung dienen. Ohne die Möglichkeit eines sozialen Auf- oder Abstiegs entscheiden sich die Wähler für Steuersätze, die der theoretischen Vorhersage des Standardmodells von Meltzer und Richard (1981) entsprechen. Mobilität in der Einkommenshierarchie - sowohl in der Vergangenheit als auch in der Zukunft - hat jedoch einen signifikanten Einfluss auf die Wahl des Steuersatzes in der gegenwärtigen Periode. Dies gilt auch, wenn die Möglichkeit sozialer Mobilität in derjenigen Periode besteht, in der der Steuersatz zur Anwendung kommt. Ebenso verändert sich die Wahl des Steuersatzes, wenn die Entscheidung hinter dem Schleier der Unwissenheit vorgenommen wird. Aufgrund des Aufbaus des Experiments können diese starken Effekte eigener sozialer Mobilität nicht durch soziale Präferenzen begründet sein.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" with number SP II 2010-15.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbfff:spii201015

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Keywords: Median voter; redistribution; social mobility;

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References

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  1. Robert H. Frank, 1984. "Interdependent Preferences and the Competitive Wage Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 510-520, Winter.
  2. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
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  10. Louis Putterman & Ruben Durante, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution and Perception of Fairness: An Experimental Study," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.
  11. Jean-Robert Tyran & Rupert Sausgruber, 2002. "A Little Fairness may Induce a Lot of Redistribution in Democracy," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-30, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  12. Fershtman, Chaim & Murphy, Kevin M & Weiss, Yoram, 1996. "Social Status, Education, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 108-32, February.
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  16. Steffen Huck & Kai A. Konrad, 2005. "Moral Cost, Commitment, and Committee Size," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(4), pages 575-, December.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Social mobility vs equality
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-04-06 13:18:07
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Cited by:
  1. Barnett, Richard & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Bunzel, Helle, 2012. "Voting for immiserizing income redistribution in the Meltzer-Richard model," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2012-15, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.

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