The Externalities of Inequality: Fear of Crime and Preferences for Redistribution in Western Europe
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© 2016 by the Midwest Political Science Association. Why is the difference in redistribution preferences between the rich and the poor high in some countries and low in others? In this article, we argue that it has a lot to do with the rich and very little to do with the poor. We contend that while there is a general relative income effect on redistribution preferences, the preferences of the rich are highly dependent on the macrolevel of inequality. The reason for this effect is not related to immediate tax and transfer considerations but to a negative externality of inequality: crime. We will show that the rich in more unequal regions in Western Europe are more supportive of redistribution than the rich in more equal regions because of their concern with crime. In making these distinctions between the poor and the rich, the arguments in this article challenge some influential approaches to the politics of inequality.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1111/ajps.12212
Publication InfoStegmueller, Daniel; & Rueda, David (2016). The Externalities of Inequality: Fear of Crime and Preferences for Redistribution in Western Europe. American Journal of Political Science, 60(2). 10.1111/ajps.12212. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16470.
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Assistant Professor of Political Science
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Duke University. I am also an associate member of Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and of CAGE, University of Warwick. My research lies at the intersection of political economy and political behavior. I study political preferences and choices in advanced industrialized societies, specifically individuals' preferences for redistribution and redistributive voting. I am interested in how these are shaped by soci