Preferences for redistribution: a country comparison of fairness judgements
Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Economics
Allgemeines, spezielle Theorien und Schulen, Methoden, Entwicklung und Geschichte der Wirtschaftswissenschaften
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AbstractThis paper seeks to explain within- and between-country variation in redistributive preferences in terms of self-interest concerns and an input-based concept of fairness, which we examine by looking at the effects of beliefs regarding the causes of income differences. Results of estimations based on data for 25 countries indicate that both factors are indeed important determinants of redistribution support, in line with hypothesised patterns. We find that while differences in beliefs on what causes income differences seem to be important for explaining within-country variation in redistributive preferences, they do little to explain between-country differences. Differences in the effects of holding certain beliefs, however, are important for explaining between-country variation in redistributive preferences, suggesting considerable heterogeneity across societies in what is considered as fair.