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Inequality perceptions: a research agenda


Abou-Chadi, Tarik; Häusermann, Silja; Palmtag, Tabea; Walter, Stefanie (2023). Inequality perceptions: a research agenda. URPP Equality of Opportunity Discussion Paper Series 34, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Many recent studies have underlined the importance of inequality perceptions as determinants of political demands and behavior. Yet, this literature often focuses on the public perception of one single, often economic, dimension of inequality. This study aims to broaden our perspective and provides a comprehensive assessment of public perceptions of socioeconomic (income, education, and class inequality) and sociocultural inequalities (gender, sexual orientation, and migration background inequality). Furthermore, we disentangle different components of inequality perceptions: the assessed importance of differences, as how problematic they are judged, and who thinks that these inequalities are central to political debates nowadays. We find that highly educated respondents attribute more importance and mostly judge inequalities across the board as more important than the less educated. While information on the extent of inequality can move the assessment of how important inequality is in society, the judgment of these divides remains unchanged, hinting to more deep-seated beliefs that are not as easily changed.

Abstract

Many recent studies have underlined the importance of inequality perceptions as determinants of political demands and behavior. Yet, this literature often focuses on the public perception of one single, often economic, dimension of inequality. This study aims to broaden our perspective and provides a comprehensive assessment of public perceptions of socioeconomic (income, education, and class inequality) and sociocultural inequalities (gender, sexual orientation, and migration background inequality). Furthermore, we disentangle different components of inequality perceptions: the assessed importance of differences, as how problematic they are judged, and who thinks that these inequalities are central to political debates nowadays. We find that highly educated respondents attribute more importance and mostly judge inequalities across the board as more important than the less educated. While information on the extent of inequality can move the assessment of how important inequality is in society, the judgment of these divides remains unchanged, hinting to more deep-seated beliefs that are not as easily changed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Working Paper Series > URPP Equality of Opportunity Discussion Paper Series
08 Research Priority Programs > Equality of Opportunity
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scope:Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Language:English
Date:September 2023
Deposited On:09 Feb 2024 10:26
Last Modified:06 Mar 2024 14:41
Series Name:URPP Equality of Opportunity Discussion Paper Series
Number of Pages:44
OA Status:Green
Official URL:https://www.urpp-equality.uzh.ch/dam/jcr:7bc92935-fa75-4ef7-9344-ab6301bdbdcc/34_Inequality_Perceptions_acknowledgement.pdf
Related URLs:https://www.urpp-equality.uzh.ch/en/Discussion-Paper-Series.html
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:24416
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English