Who Cares? Attitudes Towards Redistribution and Fiscal Austerity

Sarah Brown, Alexandros Kontonikas, Alberto Montagnoli, Mirko Moro, Dafni Papoutsaki, Willem Sas

Research output: Working paper


We present new evidence showing that fiscal austerity strengthens support for redistribution, especially for the relatively well-off. Our theoretical model proposes two mechanisms to explain this heterogeneity in support for redistribution: ‘altruism’ and ‘appreciation’. We test our theoretical model’s predictions by matching attitudes reported in the British Social Attitudes Survey with local area-level spending cuts in England over the period 2010 to 2015. We exploit the spatial and temporal variation in spending cuts at the Local Authority level to compute a plausibly exogenous measure of the austerity shock. We find evidence for these two channels.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCESifo Network
Number of pages72
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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