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Spend It Like Beckham? Inequality and Redistribution in the UK, 1983-2004

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  • Andreas Georgiadis
  • Alan Manning

Abstract

A main activity of the state is to redistribute resources. Models of the political process generally predict that a rise in inequality will lead to more redistribution. This paper shows that, for the UK in the period 1983-2004, a plausibly exogenous rise in income inequality has not been associated with increased redistribution. We then explore this further using attitudinal data. We show that the demand for redistribution, having shown considerable variation over time, is at an all-time low. We argue that the decline in the demand for redistribution can mostly be accounted for by an increasing belief in the importance of incentives though changes in preferences over the distribution of income have been important in some sub-periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Georgiadis & Alan Manning, 2007. "Spend It Like Beckham? Inequality and Redistribution in the UK, 1983-2004," CEP Discussion Papers dp0816, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0816
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    Cited by:

    1. Javier Olivera, 2015. "Preferences for redistribution in Europe," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-18, December.
    2. Pittau, Maria Grazia & Farcomeni, Alessio & Zelli, Roberto, 2016. "Has the attitude of US citizens towards redistribution changed over time?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 714-724.
    3. Joan Costa-i-Font & Frank Cowell, 2015. "European Identity and Redistributive Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 5412, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. repec:spr:sochwe:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00355-016-0996-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Carlos Bethencourt & Lars Kunze, 2015. "The political economics of redistribution, inequality and tax avoidance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 267-287, June.
    6. Erik Schokkaert & Tom Truyts, 2017. "Preferences for redistribution and social structure," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 49(3), pages 545-576, December.
    7. Javier Olivera, 2014. "Preferences for redistribution after the economic crisis," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 3(3), pages 137-145.
    8. Gründler, Klaus & Köllner, Sebastian, 2017. "Determinants of governmental redistribution: Income distribution, development levels, and the role of perceptions," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 930-962.
    9. Engelhardt, Carina & Wagener, Andreas, 2014. "Biased Perceptions of Income Inequality and Redistribution," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100395, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Christian Bredemeier, 2014. "Imperfect information and the Meltzer-Richard hypothesis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 561-576, June.
    11. Corneo, Giacomo & Neher, Frank, 2015. "Democratic redistribution and rule of the majority," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 96-109.
    12. Richard C. Barnett & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Helle Bunzel, 2014. "Voting For Income-Immiserizing Redistribution In The Meltzer–Richard Model," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 682-695, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Taxation; Inequality; Redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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