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Income inequality and self-reported values

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  • Giacomo Corneo

    ()

  • Frank Neher

    ()

Abstract

What is the relationship between income inequality and the values people endorse? Using survey data from all thirty-four OECD countries over a period of almost thirty years, we investigate the following dimensions of value systems: work ethic, civism, obedience, honesty, altruism, and tolerance. In most cases, no robust relation to income inequality is detected. However, we find some evidence that larger income disparities are associated with a stronger work ethic. This suggests that income inequality might spur hard work not only through pecuniary incentives but also because it makes people attach a symbolic value to being laborious. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Giacomo Corneo & Frank Neher, 2014. "Income inequality and self-reported values," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(1), pages 49-71, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:12:y:2014:i:1:p:49-71
    DOI: 10.1007/s10888-013-9246-7
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    Cited by:

    1. Lorenzo Cicatiello & Salvatore Ercolano & Giuseppe Gaeta, 2015. "Income distribution and political participation: a multilevel analysis," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 447-479, May.
    2. Marc Fleurbaey & Vito Peragine & Xavier Ramos, 2017. "Ex post inequality of opportunity comparisons," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 49(3), pages 577-603, December.
    3. Giacomo Corneo & Frank Neher, 2014. "Income inequality and self-reported values," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(1), pages 49-71, March.
    4. Pierre Cahuc & Yann Algan, 2009. "Civic Virtue and Labor Market Institutions," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 111-145, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; Value systems; D63; O15; O57; Z1;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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