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Social capital and preferences for redistribution to target groups

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  • Borisova, Ekaterina
  • Govorun, Andrei
  • Ivanov, Denis
  • Levina, Irina

Abstract

We empirically study how social capital influences individuals' preferences for redistribution to target groups using unique surveys of approximately 34,000 individuals across 68 Russian regions in 2007 and 2011. There is a positive relationship between social capital and support for government redistribution based on objective verifiable criteria. We interpret the results in terms of the perceived likelihood of cheating. Benefits to the ‘needy’ are at greater risk of being diverted to nondeserving claimants compared to benefits for which there are objective criteria, such as merit, being retired or disabled, or having many children. Our results show that when there is higher social capital in a region, there is also less tolerance for the possibility of cheating by recipients of government income transfers.

Suggested Citation

  • Borisova, Ekaterina & Govorun, Andrei & Ivanov, Denis & Levina, Irina, 2018. "Social capital and preferences for redistribution to target groups," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 56-67.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:56-67
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2018.05.006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Preferences for redistribution; Deservingness; Social capital; Trust; Russia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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