DP2694 | Individual Preferences for Political Redistribution

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What drives people's support of governmental reduction of income inequality? We employ data from a large international survey in order to evaluate the explanatory power of three competing forces, referred to as the ?homo oeconomicus effect?, the ?public values effect?, and the ?social rivalry effect?. The empirical analysis reveals that at the aggregate level all three effects play a significant role in shaping individual preferences for political redistribution. Attitudes of citizens in formerly socialist countries turn out to differ from those of western citizens in a systematic way.