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Voting for redistribution under desert-sensitive altruism

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  • R. I. LUTTENS
  • M.A. VALFORT

Abstract

We endow individuals that differ in skill levels and tastes for working with altruistic preferences for redistribution in a voting model where a unidimensional redistributive parameter is chosen by majority voting in a direct democracy. When altruistic preferences are desert-sensitive, i.e. when there is a reluctance to redistribute from the hard-working to the lazy, we show that lower levels of redistribution emerge in political equilibrium. We provide empirical evidence, based on the ISSP 1992 dataset, that preferences for redistribution are not purely selfish and that desert- sensitive motivations play a significant role. We estimate that preferences for redistribution are significantly more desert-sensitive in the US than in Europe. We believe that differences in desert-sensitive preferences for redistribution help explain the different social contracts that prevail in both continents.

Suggested Citation

  • R. I. Luttens & M.A. Valfort, 2008. "Voting for redistribution under desert-sensitive altruism," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 08/531, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:08/531
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    Cited by:

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    2. Clark, Andrew E. & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2014. "Attitudes to Income Inequality: Experimental and Survey Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 8136, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Ming Tung Le & Alejandro Saporiti & Yizhi Wang, 2018. "Distributive Politics with Other-Regarding Preferences," Economics Discussion Paper Series 1804, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    4. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Sangnier, Marc, 2011. "Efficient and Inefficient Welfare States," IZA Discussion Papers 5445, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Anna Panova, 2014. "Contracts, Job Security And Development Of The University," HSE Working papers WP BRP 66/EC/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    6. Gaeta, Giuseppe Lucio, 2011. "In the mood for redistribution. An empirical analysis of individual preferences for redistribution in Italy," MPRA Paper 32049, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Eiji Yamamura, 2014. "Trust in government and its effect on preferences for income redistribution and perceived tax burden," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 71-100, February.
    8. Pierre Cahuc & Yann Algan, 2009. "Civic Virtue and Labor Market Institutions," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 111-145, January.
    9. Sera Linardi & Nita Rudra, 2015. "Globalization and Redistribution Towards the Poor in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from India," Artefactual Field Experiments 00399, The Field Experiments Website.
    10. Erik Schokkaert & Tom Truyts, 2017. "Preferences for redistribution and social structure," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 49(3), pages 545-576, December.
    11. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Marc Sangnier, 2016. "Trust and the Welfare State: the Twin Peaks Curve," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 861-883, June.
    12. Eiji Yamamura, 2015. "Norm for redistribution, social capital, and perceived tax burden: comparison between highand low-income households," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 6(2).
    13. Sabine Flamand, 2015. "Interregional transfers, group loyalty and the decentralization of redistribution," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 307-330, November.
    14. Molander, Anders & Torsvik, Gaute, 2013. "Getting People Into Work: What (If Anything) Can Justify Mandatory Activation Of Welfare Recipients?," Working Papers in Economics 03/13, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    15. Sophie Harnay & Elisabeth Tovar, 2017. "Obeying vs. resisting unfair laws. A structural analysis of the internalization of collective preferences on redistribution using classification trees and random forests," EconomiX Working Papers 2017-34, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    altruism; voting; redistribution; desert; responsibility; compensation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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