When Can the Rabble Redistribute? Democratization and Income Distribution in Low- and Middle-income Countries
AbstractIn contrast to the experience in high-income OECD countries, the introduction of democracy in most low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has been followed, as a rule, by a concentration of income. Using the median voter hypothesis as analytical tool, this paper explores the conditions under which positive regime change can lead to the mitigation of income inequality in LMICs. Analysis of panel data over the period 1960 to 1999 supports the contention that the degree to which popular sovereignty had been institutionalised through regime change is an important condition. Contrary to mainstream theory, economic openness in general tends to increase and not mitigate income inequality in countries where skilled labour is in short supply. Only in those countries with the requisite state capacity to disseminate skills amongst their populace on a broad scale, the electorate can use the vote effectively to reduce the effects of this tendency.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 43.
Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Income distribution; redistribution; democratisation; median voter hypothesis;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other
- H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-07-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2006-07-05 (Development)
- NEP-POL-2006-07-10 (Positive Political Economics)
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.:
- Spilimbergo, Antonio & Londono, Juan Luis & Szekely, Miguel, 1999.
"Income distribution, factor endowments, and trade openness,"
Journal of Development Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 77-101, June.
- Antonio Spilimbergo & Juan Luis Londoño & Miguel Székely, 1997. "Income Distribution, Factor Endowments, and Trade Openness," Research Department Publications 4088, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005.
"From Education to Democracy?,"
NBER Working Papers
11204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve, 1999.
"Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories,"
Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine
123456789/10091, Paris Dauphine University.
- Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
- Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and economic growth: the perspective of the new growth theories," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9908, CEPREMAP.
- Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996.
"Income distribution, political instability, and investment,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
- Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1993. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 4486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991.
"Distributive Politics and Economic Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J, 1996. " Democracy and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-27, March.
- Hulya Dagdeviren & Rolph van der Hoeven & John Weeks, 2000. "Redistribution Matters: Growth for Poverty Reduction," Working Papers 99, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
- Rainald Borck, 2005.
"Voting, Inequality, and Redistribution,"
Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin
503, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Liu, Zhiqiang, 2005. "Institution and inequality: the hukou system in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 133-157, March.
- Anderson, Edward, 2005. "Openness and inequality in developing countries: A review of theory and recent evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1045-1063, July.
- Castro-Leal, Florencia & Dayton, Julia & Demery, Lionel & Mehra, Kalpana, 1999. "Public Social Spending in Africa: Do the Poor Benefit?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 49-72, February.
- Nelson, Phillip, 1999. " Redistribution and the Income of the Median Voter," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 98(1-2), pages 187-94, January.
- Lee, Woojin & Roemer, John E, 1998. " Income Distribution, Redistributive Politics, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 217-40, September.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2000.
"Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?,"
NBER Working Papers
7793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
- Bearse, P. & Glomm, G. & Janeba, E., 2000. "Why poor countries rely mostly on redistribution in-kind," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 463-481, March.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994.
"Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
- Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
- Milanovic, Branko, 2000. "The median-voter hypothesis, income inequality, and income redistribution: an empirical test with the required data," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 367-410, September.
- 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.
- Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Lee, Woojin, 2003. "Is democracy more expropriative than dictatorship? Tocquevillian wisdom revisited," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 155-198, June.
- Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
- Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
- Stephen Knowles, 2005. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Empirical Relationship Reconsidered in the Light of Comparable Data," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(1), pages 135-159.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Maria Ana Lugo).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.