How consistent are perceptions of inequality?

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Despite recent empirical evidence on the importance of perceived inequality, its analysis is still underexplored. In this paper we study whether unobserved perceptions of inequality are reflected in observed individual opinions in a consistent fashion. Inconsistency is relevant to ealuate the level of agreement that individuals share with respect to different domains of inequality. Using the wave from the 2009 International Social Survey Program in the US, we show that inequality is a complicated concept prone to inconsistencies and propose a testing procedure to an empirical appraisal. We find that inconsistencies exist though they may not extend to all the domains of inequality. This inconsistency also emerges by analyzing the relation between unobserved perceptions and political treatment suggesting the hypothesis that inconsistency may be associated with a set of relevant political preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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