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Inequality Perceptions, Distributional Norms, and Redistributive Preferences in East and West Germany

This paper studies differences in inequality perceptions, distributional norms, and redistributive preferences between East and West Germany. As expected, there are substantial differences with respect to all three of these measures. Surprisingly, however, differences in distributional norms are much smaller than differences with respect to inequality perceptions or redistributive preferences. Nonetheless, individuals from East Germany tend to be more supportive of state redistribution and progressive taxation, and less likely to have a conservative political orientation, even conditional on having the same inequality perceptions and distributional norms.

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Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2011-15.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2011_15
Contact details of provider: Postal: NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz
Phone: +43-732-2468-8216
Fax: +43-732-2468-8217
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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Richard Freeman, 1997. "The attitudinal legacy of Communist labor relations," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 438-459, April.
  2. Robert J. Shiller & Maxim Boycko & Vladimir Korobov, 1990. "Popular Attitudes Towards Free Markets: The Soviet Union and the United States Compared," NBER Working Papers 3453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Helmut Rainer & Thomas Siedler, 2007. "Subjective Income and Employment Expecations and Preferences for Redistribution," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200704, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
  4. Helmut Rainer & Thomas Siedler, 2006. "Does Democracy Foster Trust?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 609, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Heineck, Guido & Süssmuth, Bernd, 2010. "A Different Look at Lenin's Legacy: Trust, Risk, Fairness and Cooperativeness in the Two Germanies," IZA Discussion Papers 5219, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Ockenfels, Axel & Weimann, Joachim, 1999. "Types and patterns: an experimental East-West-German comparison of cooperation and solidarity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 275-287, February.
  7. Biewen, Martin, 2000. "Income Inequality in Germany during the 1980s and 1990s," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 1-19, March.
  8. Dirk Krüger, 2009. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," MEA discussion paper series 09184, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  9. Wolfgang Franz & Viktor Steiner, 2000. "Wages in the East German Transition Process: Facts and Explanations," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 241-269, 08.
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