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Results based on educational attainment are presented in table 5. 21 Respondents with college degrees have greater WTP for reductions in income inequality than those with some college education. Conversely, those with no college experience have greater WTP for reductions in income inequality than the college educated. Thus, WTP for income equality are not monotonic according to educational attainment. Meanwhile, WTP statistics for access to higher education are very similar for all educational groups. This finding is interesting because political affiliation influences preferences for both income equality and access to higher education, while educational attainment (a class status indicator) influences only preferences for income equality. If preferences for equal college access are class-insensitive, then it may be easier to obtain a consensus for policies promoting equal access to higher education, despite the fact that preferences for equal access are weaker on average. This feature of access to higher education may be a second explanation (in addition to perceived spillover benefits) for its prominence in U.S, society. Finally, college-educated respondents have greater WTP for levels of college enrollment than those with no college education, but there is no difference when compared to those with some college experience.

Table 5.
Marginal Rate of Substitution (MRS), Respondent Level of Education
ParameterCollege or MoreSome CollegeLess than CollegeCollege − SomeCollege − Less
MRSInequality Inc.,Income −1.968*** −2.921*** −1.090*** 0.952* −0.878* 
 (0.225) (0.450) (0.397) (0.503) (0.457) 
MRSInequality HE,Income −0.194** −0.209*** −0.206*** 0.015 0.012 
 (0.038) (0.072) (0.068) (0.081) (0.078) 
MRSAvg. HE enrollment,Income 0.392*** 0.394*** 0.211*** −0.002 0.181*** 
 (0.030) (0.055) (0.034) (0.063) (0.046) 
MRSInequality Inc.,Inequality HE 10.150*** 13.991*** 5.280** −3.841 4.870 
 (2.086) (4.696) (2.413) (5.138) (3.189) 
N 2,020 1,008 456 3,028 2,476 
ParameterCollege or MoreSome CollegeLess than CollegeCollege − SomeCollege − Less
MRSInequality Inc.,Income −1.968*** −2.921*** −1.090*** 0.952* −0.878* 
 (0.225) (0.450) (0.397) (0.503) (0.457) 
MRSInequality HE,Income −0.194** −0.209*** −0.206*** 0.015 0.012 
 (0.038) (0.072) (0.068) (0.081) (0.078) 
MRSAvg. HE enrollment,Income 0.392*** 0.394*** 0.211*** −0.002 0.181*** 
 (0.030) (0.055) (0.034) (0.063) (0.046) 
MRSInequality Inc.,Inequality HE 10.150*** 13.991*** 5.280** −3.841 4.870 
 (2.086) (4.696) (2.413) (5.138) (3.189) 
N 2,020 1,008 456 3,028 2,476 

Notes: Standard errors clustered by respondent in parentheses. MRS measured at the mean values. Probit coefficients based on equation 4 shown in online table D.10. MRS estimates based on equation 5. Standard errors for tests of significance among educational level calculated using the delta method. HE = higher education.

***p < 0.01; **p < 0.05; *p < 0.1.

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