Journal Article

Inequality, public opinion and redistribution

Lane Kenworthy and Leslie McCall

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 6, issue 1, pages 35-68
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online August 2007 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwm006
Inequality, public opinion and redistribution

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  • Moral Philosophy
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Welfare Economics
  • Political Economy
  • Economic Sociology

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According to the ‘median-voter’ hypothesis, greater inequality in the market distribution of earnings or income tends to produce greater generosity in redistributive policy. We outline the steps in the causal chain specified by the hypothesis and attempt to assess these steps empirically. Prior studies focusing on cross-country variation have found little support for the median-voter model. We examine over-time trends in eight nations during the 1980s and 1990s. Here too the median-voter hypothesis appears to have little utility.

Keywords: welfare state; redistribution; inequality; public opinion; H public economics

Journal Article.  10572 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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