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Inequality Aversion and Voting on Redistribution

  • Wolfgang Höchtl

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Rupert Sausgruber

    (University of Innsbruck)

  • Jean-Robert Tyran

    (University of Vienna)

Some people have a concern for a fair distribution of incomes while others do not. Does such a concern matter for majority voting on redistribution? Fairness preferences are relevant for redistribution outcomes only if fair-minded 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 effect of inequality aversion is 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 self-interest.

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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 11-18.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1118
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