English title: Who gives, who gains? Progressivity and Preferences

Author(s): Pablo Beramendi - Philipp Rehm -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2015

Abstract

The extent to which popular support for the welfare state depends on income varies greatly across nations and policy domains. We argue and show formally that these variations—largely overlooked yet essential to understanding the politics of redistribution—reflect in part the design of tax and transfer policies in terms of progressivity. When progressivity is high, politics is perceived by income groups as a zero sum game and conflicts over who gets what intensify. When progressivity is low, and tax contributors and benefit recipients overlap, redistributive struggles become politically less salient. We test these predictions both across nations and across policy domains within a sample of advanced industrial democracies. Our findings indicate that the progressivity of the tax and transfer system is a major determinant of the predictive power of income on preferences for redistribution.

Volume: 49

Issue: 4

From page no: 529

To page no: 563

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0010414015617961

Journal: Comparative Political Studies

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