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Some International Evidence on Deviations from Pocketbook Voting and Its Relevance for the Political Economy

This paper empirically investigates whether individuals indeed vote with their pocketbooks. Individual level data from the General Social Survey and the World Values Survey show significant deviations from pocketbook voting even among the poorest and the richest individuals in the sample. Differences in income status, education status, and perceived social mobility explain only a small fraction of the cross-country variation in the preference for income equality. Economically large and statistically significant country effects remain. There is no evidence that the median preference for income equality is more intense when incomes are more unequal or when the regimes are more democratic, a finding that rules out redistributive pressure as an important mechanism through which inequality affects growth under majority rule.

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File URL: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/ecs/pub/wp/wp0103.pdf
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Paper provided by National University of Singapore, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number wp0103.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nus:nusewp:wp0103
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/ecs/index.html

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Working Papers 178, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  3. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
  5. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
  7. Giacomo CORNEO, 2001. "Inequality and the State: Comparing US and German Preferences," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 63-64, pages 283-296.
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