Aarhus Universitets segl


Unequal and Unsupportive: Exposure to Poor People Weakens Support for Redistribution among the Rich

New publication by Matias Engdal Christensen, Peter Thisted Dinesen (University of Copenhagen) & Kim Mannemar Sønderskov in British Journal of Political Science.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123424000061

E-published ahead of print.

Abstract: Do the rich become more or less supportive of redistribution when exposed to poor people in their local surroundings? Most existing observational studies find that exposure to poor individuals is positively associated with support for redistribution among the well-off, but one prominent field experiment found a negative link. We seek to resolve these divergent findings by employing a design closer to the studies that have found a positive link, but with more causal leverage than these; specifically, a three-wave panel survey linked with fine-grained registry data on local income composition in Denmark. In within-individual models, increased exposure to poor individuals is associated with lower support for redistribution among wealthy individuals. By contrast, between-individual models yield a positive relationship, thus indicating that self-selection based on stable individual characteristics likely explains the predominant finding in previous work (open acces).