Working Paper No. 941

Generosity and Political Preferences

Published: November 21, 2012Pages: 46Keywords: Generosity; Altruism; Political Preferences; Size of Government; Public Goods; Dictator Game; Ingroup Effect; Political PartisanshipJEL-codes: H11; H40

Generosity and Political Preferences Christopher T. Dawes, Magnus Johannesson, Erik Lindqvist, Peter Loewen, Robert Östling, Marianne Bonde and Frida Priks


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.

Erik Lindqvist

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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