Preferences for Redistribution: Normative Rationality, Self-Interest and Social Identification

Abstract : This article studies the formation of preferences regarding redistribution. Its aim is to demonstrate how preferences for redistribution are influenced by individual beliefs on the origins of social inequality and public values. The first section shows, through a microeconomic model, how preferences on redistribution can be understood as the outcome of “normative rationality” depended on beliefs concerning individual responsibility in the creation of inequality. This model is then confronted with empirical field data demonstrating the link between individuals’ normative beliefs and judgments and their preferences for redistribution. We find that these normative variables used partially explain the preferences for redistribution. This illustrates how individuals use rational ethics to justify partisan preferences since these judgments are in part determined by economic variables reflecting self-interest. We particularly observe that, opinions about the level of effort everyone has to do in the production task or the opinions concerning the fair remuneration of talents or skills may change through individual experiences relative to social or prospects of upward mobility and then affect preferences for redistribution. We also find a strong effect of social identification on preferences for redistribution through public values.
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Pré-publication, Document de travail
2012
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  • HAL Id : hal-01686615, version 1

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Christine Le Clainche, Jérôme Wittwer. Preferences for Redistribution: Normative Rationality, Self-Interest and Social Identification. 2012. 〈hal-01686615〉

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