Distaste for Inequality? The Role of Risk Aversion

  • Ada Ferrer-i-CarbonellEmail author
  • Xavier Ramos


Risk aversion is an important argument to explain why individuals may dislike inequality. However, this relationship has not been empirically tested for large representative samples. Using a representative panel for Germany, we estimate this relationship by linking subjective well-being (a proxy for utility), inequality, and self-reported risk attitudes. The results confirm that risk aversion has a positive effect on dislike for inequality: more risk averse individuals are also more inequality averse. This relationship however is partly driven by other individual characteristics (gender, education, and income) that are correlated with risk attitudes.


Inequality aversion Risk attitudes Subjective well-being German SOEP Panel data 



Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, through the Severo Ochoa Programme for Centres of Excellence in R&D (SEV-2015-0563), from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (ECO2014-59302-P), and the Catalan Government (01414-SGR). Xavier Ramos acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness’ project ECO2016-76506-C4-4-R), and the Catalan Government (SGR2014-1279).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Economic Analysis (CSIC)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departament d’Economia AplicadaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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