"Subjective social class and individual preferences for redistribution" - New Publication by Anil Duman

November 21, 2019

Read Associate Professor Anil Duman's new publication "Subjective social class and individual preferences for redistribution: Cross-country empirical analysis" in International Journal of Social Economics.

Abstract: Purpose
The recent increase in economic inequalities in many countries heightened the debates about policy preferences on income distribution. Attitudes toward inequality vary greatly across countries and numerous explanations are offered to clarify the factors leading to support for redistribution. The purpose of this paper is to examine the link between subjective social class and redistributive demands by jointly considering the individual and national factors. The author argues that subjective measures of social positions can be highly explanatory for preferences about redistribution policies.

The author uses data from 48 countries gathered by World Values Survey and empirically tests the impact of self-positioning into classes by multilevel ordered logit model. Several model specifications and estimation strategies have been employed to obtain consistent estimates and to check for the robustness of the results.

The findings show that, in addition to objective factors, subjective class status is highly explanatory for redistributive preferences across countries. The author also exhibits that there is interaction between self-ranking of social status and national context. The author’s estimations from the multilevel models verify that subjective social class has greater explanatory power in more equal societies. This is in contrast to the previous studies that establish a positive link between inequality and redistribution.

The paper contributes to the literature by introducing subjective social class as a determinant. Self-ranked positions can be very relieving about policy preferences given the information these categorizations encompass about individuals’ perceptions about their and others’ place in the society.


Please contact Anil Duman for full article at dumana [at] ceu [dot] edu.