Paper Comments: "Guilt Aversion and Redistributive Politics: A Moral Intuitionist Approach"

ABSTRACT: "In mainstream economics individuals are supposed to be driven only by theirself-interest. By contrast, surveys clearly show that people do care about fairness in their demand for redistribution. In this article, in the spirit of the " new synthesis " in moral psychology (Haidt, 2007: The new synthesis in moral psychology ) the author proposes to modelize the voting behavior over redistribution as the interaction between (a) an automatic cognitive process which quickly generates intuitions on the fair level of redistribution, (b) a rational self-oriented reasoning which controls the feeling of guilt associated with fair intuitions. In addition, considering that guilt aversion depends on the cultural context, the author shows that the model exhibits a multiplicity of history-dependent steady states which may account for the huge difference of redistribution observed between Europe and the United States." (Read More)

COMMENTS: A very useful paper for civil organizations that critic political parties after their sucess in elections. Indeed, there's a demand for redistribution and this affects voting behavior. In the Peruvian case, politicians know exactly the game of redistributing before elections generating expectations of further redistribution thereafter. Nevertheless, it rarely happens. Given this context, this paper turns out to be a good reading for political science undergraduates.

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