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Does Distributional Skewness Lead to Redistribution? Evidence from the United States

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  • F. C. Rodrigiuez

Abstract

This paper presents time-series, cross-section, and historical evidence from the United States to test whether distributional skewness leads to the adoption of redistributive policies. On all accounts the theory performs poorly: we fail to find evidence either of a long-run stable relationship or of short-run causation between distributional skewness and redistribution in the time-series data; the cross-section data uncover no correlation between skewness and welfare spending or support of the Democratic Party; and analysis of the historical evidence shows that key changes in redistributive institutions in the United States were not preceded by increases in distributional skewness. Copyright 1999 Blackwell Publishers Ltd..

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  • F. C. Rodrigiuez, 1999. "Does Distributional Skewness Lead to Redistribution? Evidence from the United States," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 171-199, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:11:y:1999:i:2:p:171-199
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    Cited by:

    1. Ilja Neustadt & Peter Zweifel, 2009. "Economic Well-Being, Social Mobility, and Preferences for Income Redistribution: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Experiment," SOI - Working Papers 0909, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jan 2010.
    2. Joan Esteban & Laurence Kranich, 2003. "The Social Contracts with Endogenous Sentiments," Working Papers 71, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Dills, Angela K. & Hernández-Julián, Rey, 2014. "Religiosity and state welfare," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 37-51.
    4. Christian Bredemeier, 2014. "Imperfect information and the Meltzer-Richard hypothesis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 561-576, June.
    5. Rainald Borck, 2007. "Voting, Inequality And Redistribution," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 90-109, February.
    6. Ilja Neustadt & Peter Zweifel, 2010. "Is the Welfare State Sustainable? Experimental Evidence on Citizens’ Preferences for Redistribution," SOI - Working Papers 1003, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    7. Andrea Mattozzi, 2010. "Policy Uncertainty, Electoral Securities, And Redistribution," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 45-71, February.
    8. Shelton, Cameron A., 2008. "The aging population and the size of the welfare state: Is there a puzzle?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 647-651, April.
    9. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2008. "Wealth Distribution and the Provision of Public Goods: Evidence from the United States," MPRA Paper 11534, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "One Dollar, One Vote," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 621-651, June.
    11. Dahlby, Bev & Rodden, Jonathan & Wilson, Sam, 2009. "A Median Voter Model of the Vertical Fiscal Gap," Working Papers 2009-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    12. Matteo Cervellati & Joan-Maria Esteban & Laurence Kranich, 2010. "Work Values, Endogenous Sentiments and Redistribution," Working Papers 434, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    13. Astri Muren & Sten Nyberg, 2005. "Young Liberals and Old Conservatives - Inequality, Mobility and Redistribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 1581, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Pfarr Christian & Ulrich Volker, 2011. "Discrete-Choice-Experimente zur Ermittlung der Präferenzen für Umverteilung," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 62(3), pages 232-262, December.
    15. Klor, Esteban F., 2006. "A positive model of overlapping income taxation in a federation of states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 703-723, May.
    16. Shelton, Cameron A., 2007. "The size and composition of government expenditure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2230-2260, December.
    17. Claudio Agostini & Phillip Brown, 2007. "Desigualdad geográfica en Chile," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines, vol. 22(1), pages 3-33, June.
    18. International Monetary Fund, 2003. "Income Inequality and Redistributive Government Spending," IMF Working Papers 03/14, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Pecoraro, Brandon, 2014. "Inequality in democracies: Testing the classic democratic theory of redistribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 398-401.
    20. Fiva, Jon H. & Rattso, Jorn, 2006. "Welfare competition in Norway: Norms and expenditures," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 202-222, March.
    21. Margarita Katsimi & Thomas Moutos, 2004. "Inequality and Redistribution via the Public Provision of Private Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 1121, CESifo Group Munich.
    22. Margarita Katsimi & Thomas Moutos, 2004. "Monopoly, Inequality and Redistribution via the Public Provision of Private Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 1318, CESifo Group Munich.
    23. Panizza, Ugo, 2002. "Income Inequality and Economic Growth: Evidence from American Data," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 25-41, March.
    24. Lee, Woojin, 2003. "Is democracy more expropriative than dictatorship? Tocquevillian wisdom revisited," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 155-198, June.

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