Does Inequality breed Altruism or Selfishness? Gauging Individuals’ Predispositions Towards Redistributive Schemes
Economic and political decisions usually involve a trade-off between efficiency and equality considerations. While some inequality is expected to prevail in our soci- eties, high levels of it are objectionable on various grounds. One of the fundamental roles of government is to collect and reallocate resources among its citizens, and iden- tifying the right policies to guide these reallocations is central to promoting higher equality. While we now have a good grasp of which policies lead to more equality and which do not, we know much less about why they seem to be adopted to varying degrees of intensity in some places and times and not in others. To explain this varia- tion in policy outcomes, the most fundamental task is to identify the constituencies for the different policies. Who supports what policies and under what conditions do they support them? In this paper this question is investigated based on public opinion data on preferences over taxation and government spending on conditional-cash-transfers, pension schemes, and education. All policies that were found to significantly affect inequality. We find that disagreement across socio-economic groups arise not so much on whether the government should tackle inequality, but on how it should go about doing it. Poorer respondents tend to support cash transfers to a greater extent than the rich. But the rich tend to be more likely to support expenditures on public provision education than the poor. Contrary to what is commonly assumed, inequality seems to breed altruism among the rich when it comes to the quintessential poverty reduction scheme of conditional-cash-transfers.
|Date of creation:||11 Oct 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany|
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991.
"Distributive Politics and Economic Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert R. Kaufman & Alex Segura-Ubiergo, 2005. "Globalization, Domestic Politics and Social Spending in Latin," Public Economics 0504009, EconWPA.
- Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000.
"Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, .
"Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities,"
178, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 897-931, June.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2001. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," NBER Working Papers 8267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," CEPR Discussion Papers 3155, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2001. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1936, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Thomas Piketty, 1994.
"Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics,"
94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Thorvaldur Gylfason & Gylfi Zoega, 2003.
"Education, Social Equality and Economic Growth: A View of the Landscape,"
CESifo Economic Studies,
CESifo, vol. 49(4), pages 557-579.
- Thorvaldur Gylfason & Gylfi Zoega, 2003. "Education, Social Equality and Economic Growth: A View of the Landscape," CESifo Working Paper Series 876, CESifo Group Munich.
- Kristov, Lorenzo & Lindert, Peter & McClelland, Robert, 1992.
"Pressure groups and redistribution,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 135-163, July.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Jose Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 2002.
"The Injustice of Inequality,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1967, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Bourguignon, Francois & Verdier, Thierry, 2000.
"Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 285-313, August.
- World Bank, 2004. "Inequality and Economic Development in Brazil," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14913, August.
- Milanovic, Branko, 2000. "The median-voter hypothesis, income inequality, and income redistribution: an empirical test with the required data," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 367-410, September.
- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
- Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009.
"Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, November.
- 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.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
- Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35664. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.