Preferences for redistribution may be influenced by values and beliefs about distributive justice as well as by self-interest. People may prefer more redistribution to the poor if they believe that poverty is caused by circumstances beyond individual control. Therefore, beliefs about the causes of income may affect demand for redistribution. Alternatively, the effect of these beliefs on redistributive preferences may be spurious if they are correlated with income, and self-interest is not properly controlled for. They may also measure incentive cost concerns. Using social survey data, I find that self-interest cannot explain the effect of these beliefs on redistributive preferences.
Fong, C. (2001). Social preferences, self-interest, and the demand for redistribution. Journal of Public economics, 82(2), 225-246.