Experienced Inequality and Preferences for Redistribution

70 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2016 Last revised: 19 Dec 2018

See all articles by Christopher Roth

Christopher Roth

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics, Students

Johannes Wohlfart

University of Copenhagen

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 8, 2018

Abstract

We examine whether individuals’ experienced levels of income inequality affect their preferences for redistribution. We use several large nationally representative datasets to show that people who have experienced higher inequality during their lives are less in favor of redistribution, after controlling for income, demographics, unemployment experiences and current macroeconomic conditions. They are also less likely to support left-wing parties and to consider the prevailing distribution of incomes to be unfair. We provide evidence that these findings do not operate through extrapolation from own circumstances, perceived relative income or trust in the political system, but seem to operate through the respondents’ fairness views.

Keywords: Inequality, Redistribution, Macroeconomic Experiences, Fairness

JEL Classification: P16, E60, Z13

Suggested Citation

Roth, Christopher and Wohlfart, Johannes, Experienced Inequality and Preferences for Redistribution (August 8, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2809655 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2809655

Christopher Roth (Contact Author)

University of Warwick, Faculty of Social Studies, Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Coventry, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Johannes Wohlfart

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Building 35
Copenhagen, DK-1353
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/johanneswohlfartecon/home

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