English title: Income Inequality and Demand for Redistribution: A Multilevel Analysis of European Public Opinion

Author(s): Henning Finseraas -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009

Abstract

This article employs multilevel modeling to assess the importance of income inequality on the demand for redistribution in a sample of 22 European countries. According to standard political economy models of redistribution – notably the Meltzer-Richard model – inequality and demand for redistribution should be positively linked. However, existing empirical research has disputed this claim. The main advantages of this article is that demand for redistribution is measured at the individual level, and that the relevant interaction between inequality and own income is considered. The main findings are that inequality is positively associated with demand for redistribution, and that the median income person is sensitive to the level of inequality. These findings are robust to the inclusion of a range of relevant control variables. The results are relevant in relation to the increase in inequalities in many European countries, and especially relevant to the current debate about the importance of directly observable differences in public preferences for social policy outcomes.

Volume: 32

Issue: 1

From page no: 94

To page no: 119

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1111/J.1467-9477.2008.00211.X

Journal: Scandinavian Political Studies

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