The Role of Concern for Self in Redistribution Preferences and Support for the Welfare State

40 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2020

See all articles by Tomoko Matsumoto

Tomoko Matsumoto

Tokyo University of Science

Kensuke Okada

The University of Tokyo

Junko Kato

University of Tokyo

Date Written: May 31, 2020

Abstract

Preferences for redistribution involve concerns for the welfare of oneself and for income equality in society. Using an anchoring-vignette format, this cross-national survey finds that more concern for the welfare of oneself rather than for others leads to support for redistribution. In the Swedish, social democratic regime, protection for oneself is important for a public consensus for redistribution. In the United Kingdom and the United States, respondents are less concerned with self-protection — especially in the provision of benefits and services — which results in less support in liberal regimes. The Japanese respondents are concerned about the welfare of oneself, but their subjective underestimation of income levels prevents them from agreeing on the details of redistribution policies. Concerns for the welfare of oneself are confirmed to be important. Preferences for taxes are distinct from those for welfare services and benefits, but both are closely related to support for redistribution.

Keywords: redistribution, tax, welfare, welfare regime, equality, anchoring-vignettes

JEL Classification: H26, H53, H60

Suggested Citation

Matsumoto, Tomoko and Okada, Kensuke and Kato, Junko, The Role of Concern for Self in Redistribution Preferences and Support for the Welfare State (May 31, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3614873 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3614873

Tomoko Matsumoto

Tokyo University of Science ( email )

1-3 Kagurazaka
Tokyo, 162-8601
Japan

Kensuke Okada (Contact Author)

The University of Tokyo ( email )

7-3-1 Hongo
Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo
Japan

Junko Kato

University of Tokyo ( email )

Yayoi 1-1-1
Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8657
Japan

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