The Impact of Diversity on Perceptions of Income Distribution and Preferences for Redistribution

59 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2016 Last revised: 28 Jun 2022

See all articles by Juliana Londono-Velez

Juliana Londono-Velez

NBER; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 18, 2022


Does socioeconomic diversity affect people’s perceptions of the income distribution and their preferences for redistribution? I exploit a financial aid reform that drastically raised the share of low-income students at an elite university in Colombia and leverage variation in exposure to low-income peers across cohorts and majors using difference-in-differences. Using original survey data and administrative records, I study how exposure to low-income peers affects high-income students’ social networks, perceptions, and preferences. The policy caused high-income students to interact more with low-income students, giving them more accurate perceptions of the income distribution and boosting their support for progressive redistribution.

Keywords: Redistributive Preferences, Socioeconomic Diversity

JEL Classification: D31, D63, H23, I22, I24, O15

Suggested Citation

Londono-Velez, Juliana, Diversity and Redistributive Preferences (September 21, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Juliana Londono-Velez (Contact Author)

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA Boston 02138
United States

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

8283 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States

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