Student thesis: Unknown


This thesis focuses on the distribution of local inequality in the U.S. and the link between local inequality and redistributive preferences. To do this I estimate a unique ZIP Code level inequality data set for the years 2004-2015. Using this new data set I then analyse how the distribution of sub-national inequality has changed during this period. I find that there are heterogeneous changes in sub-national inequality and that the change in inequality within ZIP Codes follows a pattern of reversion to the mean. This indicates that changes in local inequality can differ distinctly from changes to national level inequality. I then use the ZIP Code level inequality data set to analyse the link between inequality and preferences for redistribution. To do this I use charitable donations as a revealed preference for redistribution. I combine the ZIP Code inequality data with household level data on charitable donations. I find limited evidence that increasing local inequality is associated with a change in charitable donations. This contrasts the experimental literature that finds that "inequality aversion" is a motivation for redistribution.
Date of Award1 Aug 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRalf Becker (Supervisor) & Peter Backus (Supervisor)

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