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Inequality, Community Participation, and the Allocation of Collective Profits


  • Jennifer Alix-Garcia
  • Benjamin Cerf Harris


type="main" xml:id="ecpo12035-abs-0001"> This study analyzes the relationship between inequality in land holdings and participation in community assemblies in Mexican villages. Our identification strategy is unique in that it exploits contemporaneously exogenous variation in inequality due to historic and legal restrictions on the subdivision and sale of parcels in the communities we study. The data show that at an aggregate level, villages with more inequality in land holdings have lower participation rates. Individuals with greater land holdings relative to other community members are more likely to participate. This relationship intensifies with increasing inequality. We also consider how participation influences the allocation of public funds. We find greater investment in public goods where inequality is lower and participation higher. Finally, we demonstrate that those who are less likely to attend meetings are also less likely to receive government subsidies and benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Alix-Garcia & Benjamin Cerf Harris, 2014. "Inequality, Community Participation, and the Allocation of Collective Profits," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 285-308, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:26:y:2014:i:2:p:285-308

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