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Attitudes toward the Income Gap: Japan-U.S. Comparison

  • Fumio Ohtake
  • Shinji Takenaka

Employing the Japan-U.S. international survey, this study analyzed the cause of rising perception of the widening income gap in Japan. Between these two countries, their distinct value judgments on the substance of gap influence their recognition. Japanese have negative perception of the income gap caused by talent, academic background or luck; it seems relatively weak in the U.S. A large portion of Japanese also think one's income is recently decided by talent, academic background or luck though it should not be. Such disagreement between the desirable and recognized determinants of income is thought to raise their perception of the gap.

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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0687.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0687
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  1. Bénabou, Roland & Ok, Efe A, 1998. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: the POUM Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1955, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2006. "The Evolution of Top Incomes: A Historical and International Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 200-205, May.
  3. Fumio Ohtake & Jun Tomioka, 2004. "Who Supports Redistribution?," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 333-354.
  4. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 189-194, May.
  5. Thomas Piketty, 1994. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," Working papers 94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Post-Secondary Education and Increasing Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 12077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fumio OHTAKE, 2008. "Inequality in Japan," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 3(1), pages 87-109.
  8. Chiaki Moriguchi & Emmanuel Saez, 2006. "The Evolution of Income Concentration in Japan, 1886-2002: Evidence from Income Tax Statistics," NBER Working Papers 12558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  10. 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.
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