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Experienced Inequality and Preferences for Redistribution

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  • Christopher Roth
  • Johannes Wohlfart

Abstract

We examine whether individuals’ experienced levels of income inequality affect their preferences for redistribution. We use several large nationally representative datasets to show that people who have experienced higher inequality during their lives are less in favor of redistribution, after controlling for income, demographics, unemployment experiences and current macroeconomic conditions. They are also less likely to support left-wing parties and to consider the prevailing distribution of incomes to be unfair. We provide evidence that these findings do not operate through extrapolation from own circumstances, perceived relative income or trust in the political system, but seem to operate through the respondents’ fairness views.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Roth & Johannes Wohlfart, 2016. "Experienced Inequality and Preferences for Redistribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 6251, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6251
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    Cited by:

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    2. Kristoffer B. Hvidberg & Claus Kreiner & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2020. "Social Position and Fairness Views," NBER Working Papers 28099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gualtieri, Giovanni & Nicolini, Marcella & Sabatini, Fabio, 2019. "Repeated shocks and preferences for redistribution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 53-71.
    4. Lergetporer, Philipp & Werner, Katharina & Woessmann, Ludger, 2020. "Educational inequality and public policy preferences: Evidence from representative survey experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    5. Francesco D'Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Michael Weber & Michael Weber, 2019. "Managing Households' Expectations with Salient Economic Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 7793, CESifo.
    6. Goldfayn-Frank, Olga & Wohlfart, Johannes, 2020. "Expectation formation in a new environment: Evidence from the German reunification," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 301-320.
    7. Andreoli, Francesco & Olivera, Javier, 2020. "Preferences for redistribution and exposure to tax-benefit schemes in Europe," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    8. Cozzi, Guido & Mantovan, Noemi, 2021. "To get Rich is Glorious, but only if Fairly," MPRA Paper 107305, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Andrea Fazio, 2021. "Beautiful inequality:Are beautiful people more willing to redistribute?," Working Papers 194, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
    10. Pyle, William, 2020. "Russians’ "impressionable years" : life experience during the exit from communism and Putin-era beliefs," BOFIT Discussion Papers 17/2020, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    11. Fabio Padovano & Francesco Scervini & Gilberto Turati, 2021. "Comparing governments’ efficiency at supplying income redistribution," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 68-97, March.
    12. Arnstein Aassve & Gianmarco Daniele & Marco Le Moglie, 2018. "Never Forget the First Time: The Persistent Effects of Corruption and the Rise of Populism in Italy," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1896, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    13. Klaus Gründler & Armin Hackenberger & Anina Harter & Niklas Potrafke, 2021. "Covid-19 Vaccination: The Role of Crisis Experience," CESifo Working Paper Series 9096, CESifo.
    14. Troiano, Ugo A., 2018. "Labor Market Attitudes and Experienced Political Institutions," MPRA Paper 83927, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Simon Hetland & Rasmus Søndergaard Pedersen & Anders Rahbek, 2019. "Dynamic Conditional Eigenvalue GARCH," Discussion Papers 19-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    16. Blesse, Sebastian & Heinemann, Friedrich, 2020. "Citizens’ trade-offs in state merger decisions: Evidence from a randomized survey experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 438-471.
    17. Laudenbach, Christine & Loos, Benjamin & Pirschel, Jenny & Wohlfart, Johannes, 2020. "The trading response of individual investors to local bankruptcies," SAFE Working Paper Series 272, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    18. Christine Laudenbach & Benjamin Loos & Jenny Pirschel & Johannes Wohlfart, 2020. "The Trading Response of Individual Investors to Local Bankruptcies," CESifo Working Paper Series 8191, CESifo.
    19. Hansen, Kerstin F. & Stutzer, Alois, 2021. "Experiencing Booms and Busts in the Welfare State and Support for Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 14327, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; redistribution; macroeconomic experiences; fairness;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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