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Preferences for Inequality: East vs. West

Marc Suhrcke

Innocenti Working Papers

Abstract: Do preferences for income inequality differ systematically between the post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Western established market economies? This paper analyses 1999 data from a large international survey to address this question. In particular, we examine whether attitudes to inequality differ between East and West even after the 'conventional' determinants of attitudes are controlled for. Results suggest that this is indeed the case. A decade after the breakdown of communism, people in transition countries are indeed significantly more 'egalitarian' than those living in the West, in the sense that they are less willing to tolerate existing income inequalities, even after the actual level of income inequality and other determinants of attitudes are taken into account.

Keywords: economic transition; social indicators; social monitoring; social planning; Baltic States; Central Europe; Eastern Europe; Russia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: P27 P36 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 46
Date: 2001
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