Machado, Fabiana (2011): Does Inequality breed Altruism or Selfishness? Gauging Individuals’ Predispositions Towards Redistributive Schemes.
Download (1MB) | Preview
Economic and political decisions usually involve a trade-off between efficiency and equality considerations. While some inequality is expected to prevail in our soci- eties, high levels of it are objectionable on various grounds. One of the fundamental roles of government is to collect and reallocate resources among its citizens, and iden- tifying the right policies to guide these reallocations is central to promoting higher equality. While we now have a good grasp of which policies lead to more equality and which do not, we know much less about why they seem to be adopted to varying degrees of intensity in some places and times and not in others. To explain this varia- tion in policy outcomes, the most fundamental task is to identify the constituencies for the different policies. Who supports what policies and under what conditions do they support them? In this paper this question is investigated based on public opinion data on preferences over taxation and government spending on conditional-cash-transfers, pension schemes, and education. All policies that were found to significantly affect inequality. We find that disagreement across socio-economic groups arise not so much on whether the government should tackle inequality, but on how it should go about doing it. Poorer respondents tend to support cash transfers to a greater extent than the rich. But the rich tend to be more likely to support expenditures on public provision education than the poor. Contrary to what is commonly assumed, inequality seems to breed altruism among the rich when it comes to the quintessential poverty reduction scheme of conditional-cash-transfers.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Does Inequality breed Altruism or Selfishness? Gauging Individuals’ Predispositions Towards Redistributive Schemes|
|Keywords:||Preferences for redistribution, Inequality, Conditional cash transfers|
|Subjects:||D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D70 - General
H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H50 - General
|Depositing User:||Fabiana Machado|
|Date Deposited:||01. Jan 2012 00:24|
|Last Modified:||17. Feb 2013 14:28|
Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. A. (2000). Why did the west extend the franchise? democracy, inequality, and growth in historical perspective. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115(4):1167–1199.
Acemoglu, D. and Robinson, J. A. (2006). Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Cambridge University Press.
Alesina, A. and Glaeser, E. (2004). Fighting poverty in the US and Europe: A world of difference. Oxford University Press, USA.
Alesina, A. and Rodrik, D. (1994). Distributive politics and economic growth. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 109:465–489.
Alesina, A. F. and La Ferrara, E. (2001).Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities. SSRN eLibrary.
Amat, F. and Wibbels, E. (2009). Electoral incentives, group identity and preferences for redistribution. Estudios/Working Papers (Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Ciencias Sociales).
Arretche, M. (2003). Financiamento federal e gesta ̃o local de pol ́ıticas sociais: o dif ́ıcil equil ́ıbrio entre regulac ̧a ̃o, responsabilidade e autonomia. Cieˆncias e Sau ́de Coletiva, 8(2):331–345.
Be ́nabou, R. (1996). Inequality and growth. In Bernanke, B. S. and Rotemberg, J. J., editors, National Bureau of Economic Research macro annual, pages 11–74. Cambridge,Ma: MIT Press.
Be ́nabou, R. (2000). Unequal societies: Income distribution and the social contract. American Economic Review, 90:96–129.
Birdsall, N. (2010). The (indispensable) middle class in developing countries. Equity and Growth in a Globalizing World, page 157. Bourguignon, F. and
Verdier, T. (2000). Oligarchy, democracy, inequality and growth.Journal of Development Economics, 62:285–313.
de Barros, R. P., de Carvalho, M., Franco, S., and Mendonc ̧a, R. S. (2006). Uma ana ́lise das principais causas da queda recente na desigualdade de renda brasileira. Discussion Papers 1203, Instituto de Pesquisa Econoˆmica Aplicada (IPEA).
de Barros, R. P., Henriques, R., and Mendonc ̧a, R. (2002). Pelo fim das de ́cadas perdidas: Educac ̧ao e desenvolvimento sustentado no Brasil. In Velez, C. E., Ferreira, F. H. G., and de Barros, R. P., editors, Brazil: Inequality and Economic Development. ISSN 1415-4765.
Glaeser, E. L., Scheinkman, J., and Shleifer, A. (2002). The injustice of inequality. Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1967, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
Gylfason, T. and Zoega, G. (2003). Education, Social Equality and Economic Growth: A View of the Landscape. SSRN eLibrary.
Haggard, S., Kaufman, R., and Long, J. (2010). Inequality and preferences for redistribution in the developing world.Paper prepared for presentation at the APSA meeting in Washington, DC.
Kaufman, R. R. and Segura-Ubiergo, A. (2001). Globalization, domestic politics, and social spending in latin america: A time-series cross- section analysis, 1973-97. World Politics, 53(4):553–587.
Kristov, L., Lindert, P., and McClelland, R. (1992). Pressure groups and redistribution. Journal of Public Economics, 48(2):135–163.
Lindert, K., Skoufias, E., and Shapiro, J. (2006). Redistributing income to the poor and the rich: Public transfers in Latin America and the Caribbean. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper.
Machado, F. (2010). Poverty, inequality and citizens’ preferences over social spending: the case of Brazil. Working paper.
Meltzer, A. H. and Richard, S. F. (1981). A rational theory of the size of government. Journal of Political Economy, 89:914–27. 34
Milanovic, B. (2000). The median-voter hypothesis, income inequality, and income redistribution: an empirical test with the required data. European Journal of Political Economy, 16(3):367 – 410.
Moene, K. O. and Wallerstein, M. (2001). Inequality, social insurance, and redistribution. The American Political Science Review, 95(4):859–874.
Persson, T. and Tabellini, G. (1994). Is inequality harmful for growth? theory and evidence. American Economic Review, 84(3):600–621.
Piketty, T. (1995). Social mobility and redistributive politics. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 110(3):551–584.
Reis, E. P. and Moore, M. (2005). Elite Perceptions of Poverty and Inequality. Zed Books.
Roemer, J. E. (1998). Why don’t the poor expropriate the rich? Journal of Public Economics, 70:399–424.
Romer, T. (1975). Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax. Journal of Public Economics, 4(2):163–185.
Scheve, K. and Stasavage, D. (2008). Religion and social insurance. Divide and deal: the politics of distribution in democracies, page 149.
Velez, C. E., Ferreira, F. H. G., and de Barros, R. P. (2003). Brazil: Inequality and economic development. Report 24487-BR, World Bank and Instituto de Pesquisa Economica Aplicada.