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Who Does Not Want Equal Rights

Tongzhe Li ()
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Tongzhe Li: School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University

No 2014-5, Working Papers from School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University

Abstract: Equal rights to education, resource and employment are important to reducing poverty and accelerating economic growth. Unfair treatments are not only found from advantaged to disadvantaged groups, but also within disadvantaged groups themselves. This study investigates intragroup discrimination among disadvantaged individuals. Using a model that considers both an individual's absolute and relative income, I examine the conditions under which equal rights are supported by some members in the advantaged group and, more interestingly, opposed by part of the disadvantaged group. In equilibrium, the valuation towards relative income, the initial endowment di erence between two groups and the amount of income transfer upon equalization have opposite e ects on the likelihood of favoring equality in di erent groups. To this end, I conduct a comparative statics analysis and the results suggest that in order to incentivize more individuals to favor equality, a policymaker's optimal strategy substantially depends on how much does the society value relative income.

Keywords: Economic Equality; Intragroup Discrimination; Relative Income; Social Identity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D71 J15 J71 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 23 pages
Date: 2014-10
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