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The Evolution of Ideology, Fairness and Redistribution

  • Alberto Alesina
  • Guido Cozzi
  • Noemi Mantovan

Ideas about what is "fair" above and beyond the individuals' position in the income ladder influence preferences for redistribution. We study the dynamic evolution of different economies in which redistributive policies, perception of fairness, inequality and growth are jointly determined. We show how including fairness explains various observed correlations between inequality, redistribution and growth. We also show how different beliefs about fairness can keep two otherwise identical countries in different development paths for a very long time.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2012.02541.x
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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 122 (2012)
Issue (Month): 565 (December)
Pages: 1244-1261

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:122:y:2012:i:565:p:1244-1261
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  1. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Schools, Skills, And Synapses," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 289-324, 07.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Angeletos, George-Marios, 2005. "Corruption, inequality, and fairness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1227-1244, October.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 4056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Karabarbounis, Loukas, 2010. "One dollar, one vote," MPRA Paper 25274, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Guido Cozzi & Noemi Mantovan, 2012. "The Evolution of Ideology, Fairness and Redistribution," Working Papers 2012_05, Durham University Business School.
  6. Roberto Perotti, 1993. "Political Equilibrium, Income Distribution, and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 755-776.
  7. 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.
  8. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2005. "Fairness and Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 960-980, September.
  9. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  10. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  11. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
  12. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 151-172.
  14. Jean Tirole & Roland Benabou, 2004. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," 2004 Meeting Papers 15, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Zheng Song, 2012. "Persistent Ideology And The Determination Of Public Policy Over Time," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(1), pages 175-202, 02.
  16. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  17. Thomas Piketty, 1995. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 551-584.
  18. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  19. Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
  20. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  21. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  22. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
  23. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  24. Rafael Di Tella & Juan Dubra, 2010. "A note on Fairness and Redistribution," Harvard Business School Working Papers 11-059, Harvard Business School.
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