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Decomposing Preference for Redistribution Beyond the Trans-Atlantic Perspective

Abstract : There are significant differences across countries in terms of redistribution by the government. This corresponds to underlying dissimilarities in preference for redistribution. Particularly, previous literature compared the US and Europe and proposed several explanations of these differences, from aggregation of individual determinants (e.g. one’s income) to more holistic ones such as shared values at the national level (i.e. social beliefs). This paper, therefore, aims to analyse the impact of socio-demographic factors and social beliefs on preference for redistribution. First, we focused on two di_erent dimensions of preference —the government’s role in reducing the difference in income and the approach of the tax system with high income. Secondly, we extended the comparison by including a developed Asian country, Japan. Based on the results, the following two attitudes are not fully compatible: many people support the governmental intervention, but not for more tax on the rich, especially in Japan. Furthermore, the di_erence in the attitude on the governmental intervention mainly comes from the variance in the role of social beliefs. On the other hand, the average income and wealth do not explain the difference in preference. Countries are characterized by different social beliefs, which affects the differences in sub-preferences. However, not only the distribution of social beliefs, but also their statistical relation to the sub-preferences explains the country level disparity. In addition, the US and Europe comparison under/over-estimates these statistical associations in the world, since an Asian country, such as Japan, may have a different structure.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 5, 2020 - 2:07:28 PM
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Ryo Kambayashi, Sébastien Lechevalier, Thanasak Jenmana. Decomposing Preference for Redistribution Beyond the Trans-Atlantic Perspective. 2020. ⟨hal-02796841⟩

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