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Income inequality, redistribution and the position of the decisive voter

Author

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  • Loek Groot

    () (Utrecht University School of Economics)

  • Daan Linde

    () (Utrecht University School of Economics)

Abstract

Abstract A large literature explaining patterns of redistribution makes use of the median voter theorem. Using a novel approach, this contribution shows that in OECD countries the decisive voter, determined by the earner who sees her preferred tax rate being implemented, on average sits around the 50th percentile in the income distribution, although significant within and between country differences exist. Under the assumption of a lognormal distribution of gross income, we derive the required tax rate to align the observed gross and net Gini coefficients in OECD countries. This estimated tax rate is compared to the tax rate preferred by the median income earner, which gives a new index capturing a nation’s deviation from the median voter position, measured as the difference between the estimated percentile position of the decisive voter and the 50th percentile position of the median voter. We provide a comparative overview of this index over time and between countries. We also locate the positions of alternative versions of the decisive voter, among which following the ‘one dollar, one vote’ rule, in a Lorenz curve diagram.

Suggested Citation

  • Loek Groot & Daan Linde, 2016. "Income inequality, redistribution and the position of the decisive voter," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 14(3), pages 269-287, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecin:v:14:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s10888-016-9333-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s10888-016-9333-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Abatemarco, Antonio & Dell'Anno, Roberto, 2019. "Fiscal Illusion and Progressive Taxation with Retrospective Voting," MPRA Paper 97500, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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