Influence of individual income and country-level inequality on values about distributive justice Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Loeber, Thomas
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • This paper explores how values about distributive justice vary with individual income and country-level inequality. The most prominent model of this relationship, the Meltzer-Richard model, predicts that higher inequality should make the rich more averse and the poor more supportive of redistribution. However, most empirical studies have found the opposite pattern. I try to adjudicate between two prominent explanations in the literature, altruism versus inequality-induced fear of crime of rich individuals. Since the latter hypothesis postulates that the rich only support redistribution for instrumental reasons, we should find a different result if we ask them more abstract questions about distributive justice. Using data from the International Social Survey Program, I investigate this question employing multilevel modeling. Because I find the same pattern than for the more instrumental questions about redistribution, I conclude that altruism is an important factor driving preferences for redistribution.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Stimson, James
  • Stephens, John
  • Ballard-Rosa, Cameron
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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