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

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Kuhn, 2011. "Inequality Perceptions, Distributional Norms, and Redistributive Preferences in East and West Germany," NRN working papers 2011-15, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2011_15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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).
    2. Rainer, Helmut & Siedler, Thomas, 2009. "Does democracy foster trust?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 251-269, June.
    3. 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, August.
    4. Shiller, Robert J & Boycko, Maxim & Korobov, Vladimir, 1991. "Popular Attitudes toward Free Markets: The Soviet Union and the United States Compared," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 385-400, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln & Dirk Krueger & Mathias Sommer, 2010. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 103-132, January.
    7. Rainer, Helmut & Siedler, Thomas, 2008. "Subjective income and employment expectations and preferences for redistribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 449-453, June.
    8. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    subjective inequality indices; redistributive preferences; political preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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