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In the eye of the beholder: Subjective inequality measures and individuals' assessment of market justice


Kuhn, Andreas (2011). In the eye of the beholder: Subjective inequality measures and individuals' assessment of market justice. European Journal of Political Economy, 27(4):625-641.

Abstract

This study presents a simple empirical framework suitable for describing individuals' subjective evaluations of wage inequality and their normative assessment of market justice. The framework is illustrated using survey data from the International Social Survey Program from Switzerland. Although most individuals accept the fact that there are quite large pay differentials across different occupations, they would still prefer a more equal distribution of market wages. The empirical analysis further shows that financial self-interest, normative beliefs, and perceptions of how wages are determined all have an impact on the assessment of market justice. Finally, subjective inequality measures and the assessment of market justice turn out to be substantive predictors of individuals' general support for the welfare state and their party identification.

Abstract

This study presents a simple empirical framework suitable for describing individuals' subjective evaluations of wage inequality and their normative assessment of market justice. The framework is illustrated using survey data from the International Social Survey Program from Switzerland. Although most individuals accept the fact that there are quite large pay differentials across different occupations, they would still prefer a more equal distribution of market wages. The empirical analysis further shows that financial self-interest, normative beliefs, and perceptions of how wages are determined all have an impact on the assessment of market justice. Finally, subjective inequality measures and the assessment of market justice turn out to be substantive predictors of individuals' general support for the welfare state and their party identification.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:December 2011
Deposited On:23 Nov 2011 11:06
Last Modified:13 Dec 2017 14:35
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0176-2680
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2011.06.002

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