SITE will host a research seminar “The Three Deep Roots of Redistribution: Zero-Sum Wealth Views, Uncertainty Aversion and Long Term Orientation” with Martin Ljunge, IFN.
This paper studies the long-run determinants of preferences for redistribution. Martin Ljunge with his co-authors relate preferences among children of immigrants in Europe to factors in 95 ancestral countries. Examining over 50 potential influences, including economic beliefs, inequality, cultural traits, political and economic institutions, and among a dozen significant predictors they find three particularly robust factors. Individuals with ancestry from countries where increases in wealth are believed to come at the expense of others, versus a belief that wealth grows, prefer more redistribution. People with ancestry from countries that are more averse to dealing with uncertainty prefer more redistribution. Moreover, individuals with ancestry from more long term oriented countries, where people’s actions are oriented toward the future, prefer less redistribution. The implications for supporters of more redistribution are rather gloomy; promote a backward looking, static worldview and fear of the future. Only a fraction of the long run determinants is mediated through indicators of self-interest such as income.
Martin Ljunge has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago. Martin has previously worked at the University of Copenhagen and Stockholm School of Economics. He is also an Affiliated Researcher at SITE at the Stockholm School of Economics.
His research has been published in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Economica, Journal of Human Capital, Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization and other high ranking journals.