How does group identification affect redistribution in representative democracies? An Experiment

Shaun P. Hargreaves Heap*, Emma Manifold, Konstantinos Matakos, Dimitrios Xefteris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We test in the laboratory four mechanisms whereby group identification might affect redistribution in representative democracies. For voters, group identification can give rise to a preference for own-group payoffs, for electing an own-group candidate, and could be used to assess candidate-sincerity. For candidates, identity might affect the optimal campaign platform. There is evidence to support all four. Our key contribution comes from bringing the candidate supply of redistribution policies into an equilibrium analysis with voter demand for redistribution. It yields an important new insight: the extent of minority group political representation among the electoral candidates critically affects redistribution outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104747
JournalJOURNAL OF PUBLIC ECONOMICS
Volume215
Early online date23 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Identity
  • Inequality
  • Minority Representation
  • Redistribution
  • Representative Democracy
  • Voting Experiment

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