Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Does Libertè = Egalité? A Survey of the Empirical Links between Democracy and Inequality with Some Evidence on the Transition Economies

Contents:

Author Info

  • Mark Gradstein
  • Branko Milanovic

Abstract

The effect of the distribution of political rights on income inequality has been studied both theoretically and empirically. This paper reviews the existing literature and, in particular, the available empirical evidence. Our reading of the literature suggests that formal exclusion from the political process through restrictions on the voting franchise appears to have caused a high degree of economic inequality, and democratization in the form of franchise expansion especially for women, has more often than not led to an expansion in redistribution, at least in the small sample of episodes studied. In a less pronounced way, albeit more emphatically compared to the ambiguous results of the earlier research, the recent evidence indicates an inverse relationship between other measures of democracy, based on civil liberties and political rights, and inequality. The transition experience of the East European countries, however, seems to some extent to go against these conclusions. This, in turn, opens possible new vistas for research, namely the need to incorporate the length of democratic experience and the role played by ideology and social values. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2004.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=synergy&synergyAction=showTOC&journalCode=joes&volume=18&issue=4&year=2004&part=null
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 18 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (09)
Pages: 515-537

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:18:y:2004:i:4:p:515-537

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0950-0804

Order Information:
Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0950-0804

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," NBER Working Papers 6364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1993. "Education, democracy and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 399-407, December.
  3. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  4. Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
  5. Milanovic, Branko, 1999. "Do more unequal countries redistribute more? does the median voter hypothesis hold?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2264, The World Bank.
  6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did The West Extend The Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, And Growth In Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199, November.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2001. "A Theory of Political Transitions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 938-963, September.
  9. John F. Helliwell, 1994. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Justman, Moshe & Gradstein, Mark, 1999. "The Industrial Revolution, Political Transition, and the Subsequent Decline in Inequality in 19th-Century Britain," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 109-127, April.
  11. Perotti, Roberto, 1993. "Political Equilibrium, Income Distribution, and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 755-76, October.
  12. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  13. John R. Lott & Jr. & Lawrence W. Kenny, 1999. "Did Women's Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1163-1198, December.
  14. William Easterly & Sergio Rebelo, 1994. "Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 4499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  16. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  17. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  18. Adam Przeworski & Fernando Limongi, 1993. "Political Regimes and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 51-69, Summer.
  19. Gouveia, Miguel & Masia, Neal A, 1998. " Does the Median Voter Model Explain the Size of Government?: Evidence from the States," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 97(1-2), pages 159-77, October.
  20. Atkinson,Anthony Barnes & Micklewright,John, 1992. "Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Distribution of Income," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438827, October.
  21. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
  22. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
  23. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1994. "The Political Economy of Growth: A Critical Survey of the Recent Literature," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 351-71, September.
  24. Bassett, William F. & Burkett, John P. & Putterman, Louis, 1999. "Income distribution, government transfers, and the problem of unequal influence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 207-228, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Drosdowski, Thomas, 2005. "Democracy Deficits, Inequality and Pollution. A Politico-Economic Analysis," Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Leibniz Universität Hannover dp-323, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  2. Heshmati, Almas, 2004. "Continental and Sub-Continental Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 1271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Adalgiso Amendola & Joshy Easaw & Antonio Savoia, 2013. "Inequality in developing economies: the role of institutional development," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 43-60, April.
  4. Drosdowski, Thomas, 2006. "On the Link Between Democracy and Environment," Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Leibniz Universität Hannover dp-355, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  5. Savoia, Antonio & Easaw, Joshy & McKay, Andrew, 2010. "Inequality, Democracy, and Institutions: A Critical Review of Recent Research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 142-154, February.
  6. Tausch, Arno, 2009. "Ist die Globalisierung fit für das soziale Europa?
    [Is Globalization fit for Social Europe?]
    ," MPRA Paper 14264, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2007. "Within and Between Gender Disparities in Income and Education Benefits from Democracy," IZA Discussion Papers 3221, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Suresh Naidu, 2012. "Suffrage, Schooling, and Sorting in the Post-Bellum U.S. South," NBER Working Papers 18129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Christopher Gerry & Tomasz Mickiewicz, 2006. "Inequality, Fiscal Capacity and the Political Regime: Lessons from the Post-Communist Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp831, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  10. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2008. "Understanding Low Average Returns to Education in Africa: The Role of Heterogeneity across Education Levels and the Importance of Political and Economic Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 3766, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Ewig, Christina & Palmucci, Gastón A., 2012. "Inequality and the Politics of Social Policy Implementation: Gender, Age and Chile’s 2004 Health Reforms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2490-2504.
  12. Roland Hodler & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2012. "The Effects of Voting Costs on the Democratic Process and Public Finances," Working papers 2012/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:18:y:2004:i:4:p:515-537. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.