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Inequality and the Instability of Polity and Policy

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  • Pushan Dutt
  • Devashish Mitra

Abstract

We create alternative measures of political instability, which capture only movements from dictatorship to democracy and vice versa and, unlike older, well-known measures, does not capture government changes that preserve the democratic or dictatorial structure of the country. We show that inequality is positively correlated with our measures of political instability as well as with a well-known measure (used by Alesina and Perotti) but the impact of inequality on the latter is only through components of political instability captured by our measures. We show that our measures have significant policy implications - political instability increases both fiscal and trade polity volatility. Copyright (C) The Author(s). Journal compilation (C) Royal Economic Society 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Pushan Dutt & Devashish Mitra, 2008. "Inequality and the Instability of Polity and Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1285-1314, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:118:y:2008:i:531:p:1285-1314
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    Cited by:

    1. Vatcharin Sirimaneetham, 2006. "Explaining policy volatility in developing countries," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 06/583, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. Antonio Fatás & Ilian Mihov, 2013. "Policy Volatility, Institutions, and Economic Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 362-376, May.
    3. Bittencourt, Manoel, 2010. "Democracy, Populism and Hyperinflation[s]: Evidence from Latin America," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 47, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    4. Lucifora, Claudio & Moriconi, Simone, 2015. "Political instability and labour market institutions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 201-221.
    5. repec:taf:regstd:v:50:y:2016:i:11:p:1849-1862 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
    7. Caruso, Raul & Schneider, Friedrich, 2011. "The socio-economic determinants of terrorism and political violence in Western Europe (1994–2007)," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(S1), pages 37-49.
    8. Manoel Bittencourt, 2009. "Polarisation, Populism and Hyperinflation[s]: Some Evidence from Latin America," Working Papers 200921, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    9. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.

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