Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 941: Generosity and Political Preferences

Christopher T. Dawes , Magnus Johannesson , Erik Lindqvist (), Peter Loewen , Robert Östling , Marianne Bonde and Frida Priks
Additional contact information
Christopher T. Dawes: Department of Politics, Postal: New York University
Magnus Johannesson: Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Department of Economics
Erik Lindqvist: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: and Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics
Peter Loewen: Department of Political Science, Postal: University of Toronto-Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Robert Östling: Institute for International Economic Studies, Postal: Stockholm University

Abstract: We test whether generosity is related to political preferences and partisanship in Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States using incentivized dictator games. The total sample consists of more than 5,000 respondents. We document that support for social spending and redistribution is positively correlated with generosity in all four countries. Further, we show that donors are more generous towards co-partisans in all countries, and that this effect is stronger among supporters of left-wing political parties. All results are robust to the inclusion to an extensive set of control variables, including income and education.

Keywords: Generosity; Altruism; Political Preferences; Size of Government; Public Goods; Dictator Game; Ingroup Effect; Political Partisanship

JEL-codes: H11; H40

46 pages, November 21, 2012

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