Document Type

Social Sciences


Economic inequality has been significantly rising in the United States, making it the most unequal advanced industrialized democracy. Understanding factors that influence public attitudes towards inequality and potential remedies such as redistribution of wealth, gives a reference point for tracking subsequent preference-policy links. This research utilizes survey data from the 1990 General Social Survey to explore factors influencing preferences towards redistribution as gross wealth consolidation among the top 10% was only starting to remerge. Empirically applying theories of economic self-interest, symbolic politics and American exceptionalism to wealth redistribution preferences, the research finds economic self-interest as having the biggest role in predicting attitudes.