Department of Political Science
P.O. Box 208301
New Haven, CT 06520-8301
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2015||Support for Redistribution in an Age of Rising Inequality: New Stylized Facts and Some Tentative Explanations|
with Ilyana Kuziemko, Ebonya Washington: w21529
Despite the large increases in economic inequality since 1970, American survey respondents exhibit no increase in support for redistribution, in contrast to the predictions from standard theories of redistributive preferences. We replicate these results but further demonstrate substantial heterogeneity by demographic groups. In particular, the two groups who have most moved against income redistribution are the elderly and African-Americans. We find little evidence that these subgroup trends are explained by relative economic gains or growing cultural conservatism, two common explanations. We further show that the elderly trend is uniquely American, at least relative to other developed countries with comparable survey data. While we are unable to provide definitive evidence on the cause of...
Published: Vivekinan Ashok & Ilyana Kuziemko & Ebonya Washington, 2016. "Support for Redistribution in an Age of Rising Inequality: New Stylized Facts and Some Tentative Explanations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, vol 2015(1), pages 367-433.