Do the Rich Vote Conservative Because They Are Rich?

Jo Thori Lind

Abstract


Political economics predicts that the rich oppose redistribution and vote for conservative parties. Although this seemingly fits the data well in most countries, I show that the relationship breaks down when we control for unobservable characteristics. Using Norwegian survey data, I study to what extent voting is caused by income. Although a positive association between income and conservative voting persists when controlling for unobservables, the magnitude of the effect is reduced by a factor of five. To correct for measurement error, I instrument income with average income by profession. The magnitude of the coefficients becomes higher, but the main conclusion remains.

Keywords


political economy, redistribution, voting, multinomial logit, panel data

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References


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Acemoglu, D. (2008). Oligarchic versus Democratic Societies. Journal of the European Economic Association, 6 (1), 1-44. doi:10.1162/JEEA.2008.6.1.1 Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. A. (2000). Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115 (4), 11671199. doi:10.1162/003355300555042




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5202/rei.v1i2.18

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