Revisiting Cross-National Variations in Preference for Redistribution.Attitudes to Inequalities, Social Beliefs, and Welfare Systems
The purpose of this paper is to contribute to this literature by testing three hypotheses regarding the dislike of inequalities, social beliefs and social mobility, and by trying to extend the comparison between Europe and the US by including the case of a developed Asian country, Japan. More precisely, by relying on the 2009 issue of the International Social Survey Program, our aim is to explain different preferences for redistribution across the US, France and Japan.
While there are clear differences between France and the US regarding both the level of unhappiness due to the level of inequalities and preference for redistribution, Japan stands in the middle. Moreover, different social beliefs related to the relative importance of luck and effort in social outcomes have been emphasized by the literature to explain the different patterns in Europe and in the US. However, the rationale behind Japanese patterns is unclear and a purpose of this paper is to provide some explanations that make possible a generalization of previous literature on the topic.