LOCAL INEQUALITY AND REDISTRIBUTION

UoM administered thesis: Unknown

  • Authors:
  • Alexander Squires

Abstract

This thesis focuses on the distribution of local inequality in the U.S. and the link between local inequality and redistributive preferences. To do this I estimate a unique ZIP Code level inequality data set for the years 2004-2015. Using this new data set I then analyse how the distribution of sub-national inequality has changed during this period. I find that there are heterogeneous changes in sub-national inequality and that the change in inequality within ZIP Codes follows a pattern of reversion to the mean. This indicates that changes in local inequality can differ distinctly from changes to national level inequality. I then use the ZIP Code level inequality data set to analyse the link between inequality and preferences for redistribution. To do this I use charitable donations as a revealed preference for redistribution. I combine the ZIP Code inequality data with household level data on charitable donations. I find limited evidence that increasing local inequality is associated with a change in charitable donations. This contrasts the experimental literature that finds that "inequality aversion" is a motivation for redistribution.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date1 Aug 2021