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Heterogeneity in preferences for redistribution and public spending: A cross-country analysis

Luna Bellani () and Francesco Scervini ()

European Journal of Political Economy, 2020, vol. 63, issue C

Abstract: Political coordination and policy outcomes may be the result not only of the position of the ‘median voter’ in a political scale but also of the heterogeneity of preferences around the median. Depending on the level of government and the type of policy, such heterogeneity may lead to lower public spending and redistribution. We assess this issue empirically by analyzing the relationship between the distribution of preferences for redistribution and the amount of public expenditure at different levels of government and for several types of spending in 23 European countries. Our results suggest a negative and significant correlation between heterogeneity of preferences for redistribution and public spending that is stronger at the local level and for redistributive functions, independent of the median individual's preferences.

Keywords: Preference heterogeneity; Propensity for redistribution; Median voter; Political coordination; Public expenditures; Government levels (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2020.101890

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European Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by J. De Haan, A. L. Hillman and H. W. Ursprung

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