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Inequality, Development, and the Stability of Democracy -Lipset and Three Critical Junctures in German History

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  • Jung, Florian
  • Sunde, Uwe

Abstract

This paper studies the endogenous emergence of political regimes in societies in which productive resources are distributed unequally and institutions do not ensure political commitments. The results imply that for any level of development there exists a distribution of resources such that democracy emerges in equilibrium, but there are distributions of resources for which democracy is infeasible in equilibrium irrespective of the level of development. The model also delivers results on the stability of democracy with regard to changes in the economic and demographic environment. The results are consistent with the different political regimes that emerged in Germany after 1871.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8406.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8406

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Keywords: Coalition Formation; Democracy; Development; Income inequality;

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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2005. "Income and Democracy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5273, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Matteo Cervellati & Piergiuseppe Fortunato & Uwe Sunde, 2008. "Hobbes to Rousseau: Inequality, Institutions and Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1354-1384, 08.
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  13. Morrisson, Christian, 2000. "Historical perspectives on income distribution: The case of Europe," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 217-260 Elsevier.
  14. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Coalition Formation in Non-Democracies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 987-1009.
  15. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Peleg, Bezalel & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria I. Concepts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-12, June.
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