Inequality and Preferences for Redistribution in the Developing World
50 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 16 Nov 2014
Date Written: 2010
We examine the sources of preferences for redistribution in 41 developing countries, with a multi-level model that shows the effect of individual-level and country-level predictors. We test hypotheses derived from Melzer-Richard expectations about the effects of income and sociological expectations about the effect of occupation and urban residence. We show that the preferences of the poor are cross-cut by sharp differences between unskilled and semi-skilled workers and those who work in the agricultural sector. At the country level, we find only very limited evidence that higher levels of economic inequality strengthen preferences for redistribution among the poor in general, although there is some indication that it affects the attitudes of those who live in large cities. The most consistent level-2 finding is that growth appears to diminish support for government intervention in support of the poor.
Keywords: inequality, redistributive preferences, Melzer and Richard
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