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Left, Right, Left: Income, Learning and Political Dynamics

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  • John Morrow
  • Michael Carter

Abstract

The political left turn in Latin America, which lagged its transition to liberalized market economies by a decade or more, challenges conventional economic explanations of voting behavior. This paper generalizes the forward-looking voter model to a broad range of dynamic, non-concave income processes. The model implies support for redistributive policies materializes rapidly if few prospects of upward mobility are present. In contrast, modeling voters’ ideologically charged beliefs about income dynamics shows a slow and polarizing shift toward redistributive preferences occurs. Simulation using fitted income dynamics suggests that imperfect information better accounts for the shift back to the left, and offers additional insights about political dynamics.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19498.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19498

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  1. Javier Santiso, 2007. "Latin America's Political Economy of the Possible: Beyond Good Revolutionaries and Free-Marketeers," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262693593, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Kym Anderson & Anna Strutt, 2014. "Food security policy options for China: lessons from other countries," Departmental Working Papers 2014-11, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.

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