Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution

37 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2008 Last revised: 28 Jun 2010

See all articles by Erzo F. P. Luttmer

Erzo F. P. Luttmer

Dartmouth College; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Monica Singhal

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2008

Abstract

Is culture an important determinant of preferences for redistribution? To separate the effect of culture from the effect of the economic and institutional environment ("context"), we relate immigrants' preferences for redistribution to the average preference in their birth countries, controlling extensively for individual characteristics and country-of-residence fixed effects. We find a strong positive relationship. This cultural effect is larger for non-voters, those with shorter tenure in the country of residence, and those who move to countries with a large number of immigrants from their own birth countries. Immigrants from countries with a higher preference for redistribution are also more likely to vote for a more pro-redistribution political party. The effect of culture persists strongly into the second generation.

Suggested Citation

Luttmer, Erzo F.P. and Singhal, Monica, Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution (August 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14268, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1248929

Erzo F.P. Luttmer (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College ( email )

Department of Economics
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Monica Singhal

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-5062 (Phone)
617-496-6372 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://ksgfaculty.harvard.edu/monica_singhal

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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