Understanding Divergent Views on Redistribution Policy in the United States
Louise C. Keely
Chih Ming Tan
Particular demographic groups are often associated with distinct points of view across various dimensions of redistribution policy. In this paper, we investigate which demographic groups account for heterogeneity in views on welfare policy and views on appropriate levels of overall redistribution. Using data from the General Social Survey and classification tools, we find evidence that classifications of the population by race, socioeconomic status, and age have some predictive power. However, much heterogeneity in views on redistribution policy persists even within these demographic groupings and remains unexplained. Our results suggest that identity-based explanations for variations in these views have to be interpreted with caution.
Data mining, classification and regression trees, random forests, redistribution preferences, welfare, identity
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