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Public Economics Programme Discussion Paper
Social Identity and Redistributive Preferences: A Survey
Joan Costa Font and Frank A Cowell

Paper No' PEP 15:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: H1, I3.

Tags: social identity; preferences for redistribution; inequal- ity; diversity; redistributive institutions.

Social identity is increasingly accepted as a key concept underpin- ning the endogeneity of economic behaviour and preferences. This feature is especially important in explaining redistribution preferences as well as attitudes towards redistribution and pro-social behaviour. This paper carries out a review of the literature on the question and ex- amines how economic theory conceptualises and empirically measures social identity and its effects on preferences towards redistribution, so- cial solidarity and redistributive institutions. Findings indicate that social identity does carries a weight in explaining the presence of social preferences and attitudes towards redistributive institutions.