Does wealth reduce support for redistribution?

4 July 2023 11:08

Does wealth reduce support for redistribution?

New publication in the Journal of Public Economics by Vincent Somville and his co-authors titled "Does wealth reduce support for redistribution? Evidence from an Ethiopian housing lottery".


Vincent Somville, Asbjørn G. Andersen, Simon Franklin, Tigabu Getahun, Andreas Kotsadam and Espen Villanger.


Exploiting the variation in wealth created by an Ethiopian housing lottery, we show that general attitudes towards redistribution and inequality aversion are not affected by a large positive wealth shock. New homeowners are, however, less supportive of taxing homeowners, highlighting a potential conflict between self-interest and preferences for redistribution. We also find evidence of endogenous beliefs: relative to losers, the wealthier winners are less likely to emphasize the role of luck in explaining economic success. We interpret this finding in terms of a self-serving bias.

Read the full paper here