This article aims to clarify the latent structure of support for redistribution. To this end, the author analyzed data from the National Survey of Social Stratification and Social Mobility in 2015
(SSM 2015), which was conducted in Japan, using finite mixtures of regression models. The results revealed that the population could be categorized into two latent groups: one that determines preferences for social policies based on self-interest and another that does so based on ideology. Surprisingly, the results also showed that, compared to those who supported redistribution of wealth based on ideology, those who supported them based on self-interest were more likely to hold inconsistent preferences (e.g., simultaneous support for redistribution of wealth and free-market competition). This observation implies that, even when individuals want to determine their policy preferences rationally, they often do not have enough information to correctly assess the influence of each social policy on their self-interest.
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