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Self-Centered Inequity Aversion and the Mass Politics of Taxation
Journal Article
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The politics of economic crises brings distributive economic conflict to the fore of national political debates. How policy should be used to transfer resources between citizens becomes a central political question, and the answers chosen often influence the trajectory of policy for a generation. This context provides an ideal setting for evaluating the importance of self-interest and other-regarding preferences in shaping public opinion about economic policy. This article investigates whether self-centered inequity aversion along with self-interest influences individual tax policy opinions. We conduct original survey experiments in France and the United States, and provide evidence that individuals care about both how policy alternatives affect their own interests and how they influence the welfare of others relative to themselves.

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