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Inequality aversion and voting on redistribution

  • Höchtl, Wolfgang
  • Sausgruber, Rupert
  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

Some people have a concern for a fair distribution of incomes while others do not. Does such a concern matter for majority voting on redistribution? Fairness preferences are relevant for redistribution outcomes only if fair-minded voters are pivotal. Pivotality, in turn, depends on the structure of income classes. We experimentally study voting on redistribution between two income classes and show that the effect of inequality aversion is asymmetric. Inequality aversion is more likely to matter if the “rich” are in majority. With a “poor” majority, we find that redistribution outcomes look as if all voters were exclusively motivated by self-interest.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 56 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 1406-1421

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:56:y:2012:i:7:p:1406-1421
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