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Fairness, socialization and the cultural deman for redistribution

Gilles Le Garrec ()

No 2014-20, Sciences Po publications from Sciences Po

Abstract: When studying redistributive attitudes, surveys show that individuals do care about fairness. They also show that the cultural environment in which individuals grow up aspects their preferences about redistribution. In this article we include these two components of the demand for redistribution in order to develop a mechanism for the cultural transmission of the concern for fairness. The preferences of the young are partially shaped through the observation and imitation of others.choices in a way that is consistent with the so- cialization process. More specifically, observing during childhood how adults have collectively failed to implement fair redistributive policies lowers the concern for fairness or the moral cost of not supporting fair taxation. Based on this mechanism, the model exhibits a multiplicity of history-dependent steady states that may account for the huge and persistent differences in redistribution observed between Europe and the United States. It also explains why immigrants from countries with a preference for greater redistribution continue to support higher redistribution in their destination country.

Keywords: Redistribution; fairness; majority rule; socialization; endogenous preference (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 D72 H53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-evo, nep-mig and nep-pol
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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