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A little fairness may induce a lot of redistribution in democracy

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  • Tyran, Jean-Robert
  • Sausgruber, Rupert

Abstract

We use a model of self-centered inequality aversion suggested by Fehr and Schmidt (1999) to study voting on redistribution. We theoretically identify two classes of conditions when an empirically plausible amount of fairness preferences induces redistribution through referenda. We test the predictions of the adapted inequality aversion model in a simple redistribution experiment, and find that it predicts voting outcomes far better than the standard model of voting assuming rationality and strict self-interest.
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  • Tyran, Jean-Robert & Sausgruber, Rupert, 2006. "A little fairness may induce a lot of redistribution in democracy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 469-485, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:50:y:2006:i:2:p:469-485
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    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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