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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. Joan Costa-i-Font & Frank Cowell, 2015. "European Identity and Redistributive Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 5412, CESifo.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Javier Olivera, 2014. "Preferences for redistribution after the economic crisis," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 3(3), pages 137-145.
    6. Marcelo Bérgolo & Gabriel Burdín & Santiago Burone & Mauricio de Rosa & Matías Giaccobasso & Martín Leites, 2020. "Dissecting Inequality-Averse Preferences," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 20-19, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
    7. 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.
    8. Lin Yang, 2018. "The relationship between poverty and inequality: Resource constraint mechanisms," CASE Papers /212, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    9. Lin Yang, 2018. "The net effect of housing-related costs and advantages on the relationship between inequality and poverty," CASE Papers /211, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    10. Christian Bredemeier, 2014. "Imperfect information and the Meltzer-Richard hypothesis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 561-576, June.
    11. Engelhardt, Carina & Wagener, Andreas, 2014. "Biased Perceptions of Income Inequality and Redistribution," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100395, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Corneo, Giacomo & Neher, Frank, 2015. "Democratic redistribution and rule of the majority," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 40(PA), pages 96-109.
    13. Carlos Bethencourt & Lars Kunze, 2015. "The political economics of redistribution, inequality and tax avoidance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 267-287, June.
    14. Jeffrey, Karen, 2021. "Automation and the future of work: How rhetoric shapes the response in policy preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 417-433.
    15. Stephen Drinkwater & Colin Jennings, 2022. "The Brexit referendum and three types of regret," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 193(3), pages 275-291, December.
    16. Lisa Windsteiger, 2017. "The Redistributive Consequences of Segregation," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2017-12, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    17. 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.
    18. Bérgolo, Marcelo & Burdin, Gabriel & Burone, Santiago & De Rosa, Mauricio & Giaccobasso, Matias & Leites, Martin, 2022. "Dissecting inequality-averse preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 200(C), pages 782-802.
    19. Lisa Windsteiger, 2018. "Monopolistic Supply of Sorting, Inequality and Welfare," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2018-15, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    20. Yang, Lin, 2018. "The relationship between poverty and inequality: resource constraint mechanisms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 103463, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    21. Lisa Windsteiger, 2018. "Sorting in the Presence of Misperceptions," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2018-08, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    22. Orsetta Causa & Anna Vindics & Oguzhan Akgun, 2018. "An empirical investigation on the drivers of income redistribution across OECD countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1488, OECD Publishing.
    23. Windsteiger, Lisa, 2022. "The redistributive consequences of segregation and misperceptions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Taxation; Inequality; Redistribution;
    All these keywords.

    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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