NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Preferences for Redistribution

Alberto F. Alesina, Paola Giuliano

NBER Working Paper No. 14825
Issued in March 2009
NBER Program(s):   LE   POL

This paper discusses what determines the preferences of individuals for redistribution. We review the theoretical literature and provide a framework to incorporate various effects previously studied separately in the literature. We then examine empirical evidence for the US, using the General Social Survey, and for a large set of countries, using the World Values Survey. The paper reviews previously found results and provides several new ones. We emphasize, in particular, the role of historical experiences, cultural factors and personal history as determinants of preferences for equality or tolerance for inequality.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14825

Published: Alesina, Alberto, and Paola Giuliano. 2011. Preferences for Redistribution. In Handbook of Social Economics, A Bisin and Benhabib, J, 93-132. North Holland.

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