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A Little Fairness may Induce a Lot of Redistribution in Democracy

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  • Jean-Robert Tyran
  • Rupert Sausgruber

Abstract

We use a model of self-centered inequality aversion suggested by Fehr and Schmidt (1999) to study voting on redistribution. We theoretically identify two classes of conditions when an empirically plausible amount of fairness preferences induces redistribution through referenda. We test the predictions of the adapted inequality aversion model in a simple redistribution experiment, and find that it predicts voting outcomes far better than the standard model of voting assuming rationality and strict self-interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Robert Tyran & Rupert Sausgruber, 2002. "A Little Fairness may Induce a Lot of Redistribution in Democracy," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-30, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2002:2002-30
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fairness; Voting; Redistribution;
    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
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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