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Aspirations of the middle class: Voting on redistribution and status concerns

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  • Konrad, Kai A.
  • Morath, Florian

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of narrowly selfish and other-regarding preferences for the median voter in a Meltzer-Richard (1981) framework. We use computerized and real human co-players to distinguish between these sets of motivations. Redistribution to real co-players has a negative effect on the median voter's tax rate choice. Further, perceived income mobility decreases the desired amount of redistribution. Our results suggest the importance of concerns about own mobility as well as status concerns of the median voter who tends to keep distance to the low-income group, whereas inequity aversion does not play a role in the political economy context.

Suggested Citation

  • Konrad, Kai A. & Morath, Florian, 2011. "Aspirations of the middle class: Voting on redistribution and status concerns," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2011-102, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbfff:spii2011102
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barnett, Richard & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Bunzel, Helle, 2012. "Voting for immiserizing income redistribution in the Meltzer-Richard model," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2012-15, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
    2. Anke Gerber & Andreas Nicklisch & Stefan Voigt, 2013. "Strategic Choices for Redistribution and the Veil of Ignorance: Theory and Experimental Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 4423, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Redistribution; other-regarding preferences; median voter; experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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