Generational Differences in Attitude toward Income Redistribution in the Baltic States: A Cohort Analysis

Lisa Wilder


Preferences for redistribution have been shown to depend upon individual and institutional characteristics. Previous studies have demonstrated that those who have lived under a socialist regime favor more redistribution even after the regime changes. This paper tests a similar hypothesis based on the experience of the Baltic States. Income redistribution preferences in the Baltic States are traced across 3 waves of the European Values Survey. In addition, a model of preferences in 2008 is estimated. Each age cohort was subject to very different political regimes, including the youngest who have never worked under the Soviet socialist system. While the impacts of the commonly used variables confirm previous studies, I do not find that living under socialism increases a preference for redistribution once other factors are considered. Changes in preferences through the transition period are evident and differences between groups have diminished in a short period of time.

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