In The Eye Of The Beholder: Subjective Inequality Measures And The Demand For Redistribution

Date Added: Aug 2009
Format: PDF

This paper presents a simple conceptual framework intended for describing individuals' subjective evaluations of occupational wage inequality and their demand for redistribution. Most importantly, the framework explicitly allows for the distinction between individuals' perceptions and their normative beliefs. The author illustrates the framework using Swiss survey data from the International Social Survey Program. While most individuals accept quite large wage differentials across occupations, they also prefer a lower level of overall wage inequality than what they perceive to exist.