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Voting for redistribution under desert-sensitive altruism

Roland Iwan Luttens and Marie-Anne Valfort ()

No 2008053, CORE Discussion Papers from Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Abstract: We endow individuals that differ in skill levels and tastes for working with altruistic preferences for redistribution in a voting model where a unidimensional redistributive parameter is chosen by majority voting in a direct democracy. When altruistic preferences are desert-sensitive, i.e. when there is a reluctance to redistribute from the hard-working to the lazy, we show that lower levels of redistribution emerge in political equilibrium. We provide empirical evidence, based on the ISSP 1992 dataset, that preferences for redistribution are not purely selfish and that desert-sensitive motivations play a significant role. We estimate that preferences for redistribution are significantly more desert-sensitive in the US than in Europe. We believe that differences in desert-sensitive preferences for redistribution help explain the different social contracts that prevail in both continents.

Keywords: altruism; voting; redistribution; desert; responsibility; compensation. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 D63 D64 D72 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-10-01
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Related works:
Journal Article: Voting for Redistribution under Desert-Sensitive Altruism (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Voting for redistribution under desert-sensitive altruism (2012)
Working Paper: Voting for redistribution under desert-sensitive altruism (2008) Downloads
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