Does Money Make People Right-Wing and Inegalitarian? A Longitudinal Study of Lottery Winners

56 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2014

See all articles by Nattavudh Powdthavee

Nattavudh Powdthavee

University of Warwick

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

The causes of people's political attitudes are largely unknown. We study this issue by exploiting longitudinal data on lottery winners. Comparing people before and after a lottery windfall, we show that winners tend to switch towards support for a right-wing political party and to become less egalitarian. The larger the win, the more people tilt to the right. This relationship is robust to (i) different ways of defining right-wing, (ii) a variety of estimation methods, and (iii) methods that condition on the person previously having voted left. It is strongest for males. Our findings are consistent with the view that voting is driven partly by human self-interest. Money apparently makes people more right-wing.

Keywords: voting, gender, lottery wins, political preferences, income, attitudes

JEL Classification: D1, D72, H1, J7

Suggested Citation

Powdthavee, Nattavudh and Oswald, Andrew J., Does Money Make People Right-Wing and Inegalitarian? A Longitudinal Study of Lottery Winners. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7934. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2396429

Nattavudh Powdthavee (Contact Author)

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom
+44 (0)2476 528240 (Phone)

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
523510 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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