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In search of the good samaritan: estimating the impact of 'altruism' on voters' preferences

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  • John Hudson
  • Philip Jones

Abstract

This paper continues the development of a theoretical foundation for measuring 'altruistic' behaviour with respect to tax versus expenditure preferences in three specific spheres: health, education and welfare payments. Particular emphasis is placed on analysing the choice theoretic calculus that underlies individual preferences. Using this theoretical foundation, econometric techniques allow progress to be made in measuring the characteristics of the underlying utility function. The empirical work relates to the UK and confirms that both self-interest and public interest (with a slight emphasis on the latter) determine overall preferences. The implications of this for the public choice school are then examined.

Suggested Citation

  • John Hudson & Philip Jones, 2002. "In search of the good samaritan: estimating the impact of 'altruism' on voters' preferences," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 377-383.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:34:y:2002:i:3:p:377-383
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840110048447
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roland Iwan Luttens & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2012. "Voting for Redistribution under Desert-Sensitive Altruism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 881-907, September.
    2. Ignacio Abásolo & Aki Tsuchiya, 2013. "Egalitarianism and Altruism in Health: To What Extent Are They Related?," Working Papers 2013003, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.

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