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Inequality, Redistribution, and Population

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  • Campante, Filipe

    (Harvard U)

  • Do, Quoc-Anh

Abstract

We document a negative relationship between population size and inequality in the cross-country data. We propose an explanation built on the existence of a size effect in the political economy of redistribution, particularly in the presence of different channels of popular request for redistribution, e.g. “institutional” channels and “revolutions”. Based on the assumption that the threat of revolution is directly related to the number of people that may attempt to revolt, the theory predicts that the stylized fact initially uncovered by the paper can be refined as follows: there is a negative relationship between population size, and its geographical concentration, and post-tax inequality in non-democracies. We subject these predictions to extensive empirical scrutiny in a cross-country context, and the data robustly confirm these patterns of inequality, population, and the interaction with democracy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp07-046.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp07-046

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Filipe R. Campante & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "A Centered Index of Spatial Concentration: Axiomatic Approach with an Application to Population and Capital Cities," Working Papers 02-2009, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  2. Quoc-Anh Do & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest: the Role of Population Concentration," Working Papers 01-2009, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  3. Edward Glaeser & Giacomo Ponzetto & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "Why does democracy need education?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 77-99, June.
  4. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "Five Centuries of Latin American Inequality," NBER Working Papers 15305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "History without Evidence: Latin American Inequality since 1491," NBER Working Papers 14766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "History without Evidence: Latin American Inequality since 1491," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 3, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  7. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2009. "History without evidence: Latin American inequality since 1491," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 81, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  8. Filipe Campante & Edward L. Glaeser, 2009. "Yet Another Tale of Two Cities: Buenos Aires and Chicago," NBER Working Papers 15104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Quoc-Anh Doy & Filipe R. Campante, 2009. "Keeping Dictators Honest : the Role of Population Concentration," Governance Working Papers 22076, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.

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