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A 'Leaky Bucket' in the Real World: Estimating Inequality Aversion using Survey Data

  • JUKKA PIRTTIL�
  • ROOPE UUSITALO

Existing evidence of inequality aversion relies on data from class-room experiments where subjects face hypothetical questions. This paper estimates the magnitude of inequality aversion using representative survey data, with questions related to the real-economy situations the respondents face. The results reveal that inequality aversion can be measured in a meaningful way using survey data, but the magnitudes of the estimates depend dramatically on how inequality aversion is measured. No matter how measured, the revealed inequality aversion predicts opinions on a wide range of questions related to the welfare state, such as the level of taxation, tax progressivity and the structure of unemployment benefits. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2008.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2008.00729.x
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Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 77 (2010)
Issue (Month): 305 (01)
Pages: 60-76

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:77:y:2010:i:305:p:60-76
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  1. Engelmann Dirk & Strobel Martin, 2002. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
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