NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution

Erzo F.P. Luttmer, Monica Singhal

NBER Working Paper No. 14268
Issued in August 2008
NBER Program(s):   PE   POL

Is culture an important determinant of preferences for redistribution? To separate the effect of culture from the effect of the economic and institutional environment ("context"), we relate immigrants' preferences for redistribution to the average preference in their birth countries, controlling extensively for individual characteristics and country-of-residence fixed effects. We find a strong positive relationship. This cultural effect is larger for non-voters, those with shorter tenure in the country of residence, and those who move to countries with a large number of immigrants from their own birth countries. Immigrants from countries with a higher preference for redistribution are also more likely to vote for a more pro-redistribution political party. The effect of culture persists strongly into the second generation.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14268

Published: Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Monica Singhal, 2011. "Culture, Context, and the Taste for Redistribution," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 157-79, February.

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