Advanced

Tolerance in the United States : Does economic freedom transform racial, religious, political and sexual attitudes?

Berggren, Niclas and Nilsson, Therese LU (2016) In European Journal of Political Economy 45. p.53-70
Abstract

Tolerance is a distinguishing feature of Western culture. Still, it varies between and within countries, as well as over time, and irrespective of whether one values it for its own sake or for its beneficial consequences, it becomes important to identify its determinants. In this study, we investigate whether the character of economic policy plays a role, by looking at the effect of changes in economic freedom (i.e., lower government expenditures, lower and more general taxes and more modest regulation) on tolerance in one of the most market-oriented countries, the United States. In comparing U.S. states, we find that an increase in the willingness to let atheists, homosexuals and communists speak, keep books in libraries and teach... (More)

Tolerance is a distinguishing feature of Western culture. Still, it varies between and within countries, as well as over time, and irrespective of whether one values it for its own sake or for its beneficial consequences, it becomes important to identify its determinants. In this study, we investigate whether the character of economic policy plays a role, by looking at the effect of changes in economic freedom (i.e., lower government expenditures, lower and more general taxes and more modest regulation) on tolerance in one of the most market-oriented countries, the United States. In comparing U.S. states, we find that an increase in the willingness to let atheists, homosexuals and communists speak, keep books in libraries and teach college students is, overall, positively related to preceding increases in economic freedom, more specifically in the form of more general taxes. We suggest, as one explanation, that a discriminatory tax system, which is susceptible to the influence of special interests and which treats people differently, gives rise to feelings of tension and conflict. In contrast, the positive association for tolerance towards racists only applies to speech and books, not to teaching, which may indicate that when it comes to educating the young, (in)tolerant attitudes towards racists are more fixed.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Economic freedom, Generality, Government, Markets, Taxation, Tolerance, USA
in
European Journal of Political Economy
volume
45
pages
18 pages
publisher
Tranfer Verlag, Regensburg, FRG
external identifiers
  • scopus:85006746615
  • wos:000407412500005
ISSN
0176-2680
DOI
10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.06.001
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
179b0867-277f-4c9d-97a0-7b59912a9741
date added to LUP
2017-02-01 08:46:12
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:34:56
@article{179b0867-277f-4c9d-97a0-7b59912a9741,
  abstract     = {<p>Tolerance is a distinguishing feature of Western culture. Still, it varies between and within countries, as well as over time, and irrespective of whether one values it for its own sake or for its beneficial consequences, it becomes important to identify its determinants. In this study, we investigate whether the character of economic policy plays a role, by looking at the effect of changes in economic freedom (i.e., lower government expenditures, lower and more general taxes and more modest regulation) on tolerance in one of the most market-oriented countries, the United States. In comparing U.S. states, we find that an increase in the willingness to let atheists, homosexuals and communists speak, keep books in libraries and teach college students is, overall, positively related to preceding increases in economic freedom, more specifically in the form of more general taxes. We suggest, as one explanation, that a discriminatory tax system, which is susceptible to the influence of special interests and which treats people differently, gives rise to feelings of tension and conflict. In contrast, the positive association for tolerance towards racists only applies to speech and books, not to teaching, which may indicate that when it comes to educating the young, (in)tolerant attitudes towards racists are more fixed.</p>},
  author       = {Berggren, Niclas and Nilsson, Therese},
  issn         = {0176-2680},
  keyword      = {Economic freedom,Generality,Government,Markets,Taxation,Tolerance,USA},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  pages        = {53--70},
  publisher    = {Tranfer Verlag, Regensburg, FRG},
  series       = {European Journal of Political Economy},
  title        = {Tolerance in the United States : Does economic freedom transform racial, religious, political and sexual attitudes?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2016.06.001},
  volume       = {45},
  year         = {2016},
}