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Inequality Aversion and Voting on Redistribution

  • Wolfgang Hoechtl

    ()

  • Rupert Sausgruber

    ()

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    ()

Mounting evidence shows that there is heterogeneity in aversion to inequality, i.e. that some people have a concern for a fair distribution. Does such a concern matter for majority voting on redistribution? Fairness preferences are relevant for redistribution outcomes only if fair voters are pivotal. Pivotality, in turn, depends on the structure of income classes. We experimentally study voting on redistribution between two income classes and show that the effects of inequality aversion are asymmetric. Inequality aversion is more likely to matter if the “rich” are in majority. With a “poor” majority, we find that redistribution outcomes look as if all voters were exclusively motivated by their pocketbook.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck in its series Working Papers with number 2011-13.

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Length: 36
Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2011-13
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