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Individual Preferences for Political Redistribution

  • Corneo, Giacomo
  • Grüner, Hans Peter

What drives people's support of governmental reduction of income inequality? We employ data from a large international survey in order to evaluate the explanatory power of three competing forces, referred to as the ‘homo oeconomicus effect’, the ‘public values effect’, and the ‘social rivalry effect’. The empirical analysis reveals that at the aggregate level all three effects play a significant role in shaping individual preferences for political redistribution. Attitudes of citizens in formerly socialist countries turn out to differ from those of western citizens in a systematic way.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2694.

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Date of creation: Feb 2001
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2694
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  1. Thomas Piketty, 1994. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," Working papers 94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
  3. Lindert, Peter H., 1996. "What Limits Social Spending?," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-34, January.
  4. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Who wants to redistribute?: The tunnel effect in 1990s Russia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 87-104, April.
  5. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-84, September.
  6. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  7. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  8. Hans Peter Gruner & Giacomo Corneo, 2000. "Social Limits to Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1491-1507, December.
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