Aligning Preferences for Redistribution of Right and Left Wing Voters by Correcting Their Beliefs about Inequality: Evidence from a Randomized Survey Experiment in Australia

57 Pages Posted: 8 May 2019

See all articles by Christopher Hoy

Christopher Hoy

Australian National University (ANU)

Russell Toth

University of Sydney, School of Economics; Cornell University

Date Written: March 25, 2019

Abstract

Are differences in preferences for redistribution between right and left wing voters amplified because of misperceptions of inequality? To answer this question, we conduct a nationally representative, randomized survey experiment of 2,584 Australians in which respondents either received information about the level of national inequality and economic mobility, their position in the national income distribution, or no information. We show that both types of information about inequality lead to convergence in preferences for redistribution and charitable giving between right and left wing voters. The effect from the treatments are predominantly due to right wing voters becoming more progressive in their views.

Keywords: inequality, social mobility, redistribution, political economy

JEL Classification: D31, D63, D72, D83, O50, P16, H23

Suggested Citation

Hoy, Christopher and Toth, Russell Dean, Aligning Preferences for Redistribution of Right and Left Wing Voters by Correcting Their Beliefs about Inequality: Evidence from a Randomized Survey Experiment in Australia (March 25, 2019). Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, Working Paper - 4/2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3359391 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3359391

Christopher Hoy (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra
Australia

Russell Dean Toth

University of Sydney, School of Economics ( email )

Rm 370 Merewether (H04)
Sydney, NSW 2006 2008
Australia
+61 2 9351 4881 (Phone)
+61 2 9351 4341 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics/staff/academic/russell_toth.shtml

Cornell University ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.arts.cornell.edu/econ/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
6
Abstract Views
67
PlumX Metrics