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Preferences for redistribution and social structure

  • Erik SCHOKKAERT
  • Tom TRUYTS

We model inter-individual differences in preferences for redistribution as a function of (a) self-interest; (b) stable ideological traits; (c) subjective perceptions of the relative importance of the main determinants of income differences (luck, effort, talent). Individuals base the latter on information obtained from their reference group. We analyse the consequences for redistributive preferences of homophilous reference group formation based on talent. We argue that our theoretical results make it possible to understand and integrate some of the main insights from the empirical literature. We illustrate with GSS data from 1987 how our model may help in structuring empirical work.

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces14.01.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces14.01
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  1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2001. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," NBER Working Papers 8267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alberto F. Alesina & Guido Cozzi & Noemi Mantovan, 2009. "The Evolution of Ideology, Fairness and Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 15587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Roland Benabou & Efe A. Ok, 1998. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: The POUM Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 6795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2005. "Belief in a Just World and Redistributive Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 4952, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Matteo Cervellati & Joan Esteban & Laurence Kranich, 2010. "Work Values, Endogenous Sentiments and Redistribution," Working Papers 434, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Keely, Louise C. & Tan, Chih Ming, 2008. "Understanding preferences for income redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 944-961, June.
  7. Cruces, Guillermo & Perez Truglia, Ricardo & Tetaz, Martin, 2011. "Biased Perceptions of Income Distribution and Preferences for Redistribution: Evidence from a Survey Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 5699, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Monica Singhal, 2008. "Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 14268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Alberto Alesina & George-Marios Angeletos, 2004. "Fairness and Redistribution," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000306, www.najecon.org.
  10. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie & Lindskog, Annika, 2009. "Preferences for redistribution--A country comparison of fairness judgements," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 884-902, December.
  11. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 1999. "Group Loyalty and the Taste for Redistribution," Working Papers 9902, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  12. Cervellati, Matteo & Esteban, Joan & Kranich, Laurence, 2010. "Work values, endogenous sentiments redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 612-627, October.
  13. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  15. Yamamura, Eiji, 2012. "Social capital, household income, and preferences for income redistribution," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 498-511.
  16. Fleurbaey, Marc, 2012. "Fairness, Responsibility, and Welfare," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199653591, March.
  17. Corneo, Giacomo & Gruner, Hans Peter, 2002. "Individual preferences for political redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 83-107, January.
  18. Beatrix Eugster & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Steinhauer & Josef Zweimüller, 2011. "The Demand for Social Insurance: Does Culture Matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(556), pages F413-F448, November.
  19. Andreas Georgiadis & Alan Manning, 2012. "Spend it like Beckham? Inequality and redistribution in the UK, 1983–2004," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 537-563, June.
  20. Fong, Christina, 2001. "Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 225-246, November.
  21. Javier Olivera, 2012. "Preferences for Redistribution in Europe," Working Papers 201225, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  22. Maria Grazia Pittau & Riccardo Massari & Roberto Zelli, 2013. "Hierarchical Modelling of Disparities in Preferences for Redistribution," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(4), pages 556-584, 08.
  23. Roland Iwan Luttens & Marie-Anne Valfort, 2012. "Voting for Redistribution under Desert-Sensitive Altruism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 881-907, 09.
  24. James Konow, 2003. "Which Is the Fairest One of All? A Positive Analysis of Justice Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1188-1239, December.
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