Redistribution Preferences, Altruism and Group Heterogeneity in Industrialized Democracies
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Altruism is an important omitted variable in much of the Political Economy literature. While material self-interest is the base of most approaches to redistribution (first affecting preferences and then politics and policy), there is a paucity of research on inequality aversion. In his lecture, Rueda proposes that other-regarding concerns influence redistribution preferences and that: (1) they matter most to those in less material need and (2) they are conditional on the identity of the poor. Altruism is a luxury good most relevant to the rich, and it is most influential when the recipients of benefits are similar to those financing them.
David Rueda is Professor of Comparative Politics at the Department of Politics and International Relations, and Professorial Fellow, at Nuffield College, Oxford University. He has received numerous research awards, including a British Academy Research Development Award for 2008-2010, and has been a fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, Princeton University, and the Summer Institute at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University. His current research focuses on insider–outsider politics, the determinants and consequences of inequality, and the role of the welfare state in times of crisis.