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Political economy of income distribution dynamics


  • Zhang, Lei


Income distribution varies considerably across countries; it tends to become more equal with development in some countries, but just the opposite occurs in other countries. This paper provides a theoretical investigation of the persistent differences in income distribution across countries over time. Motivated by the relationship between income distribution and public spending at different school levels for a broad range of countries over the past 30 years, the analysis centers on the role of public education where specific investments interact with political involvement by different socio-economic groups. Socio-economic groups may form lobbies to influence education policy making. The formation of lobbies is endogenous. Persistent inequality is caused by persistent lobbying efforts of the wealthy that lead to an allocation of public education spending more biased toward them.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Lei, 2008. "Political economy of income distribution dynamics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 119-139, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:87:y:2008:i:1:p:119-139

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mario Holzner, 2010. "Inequality, Growth and Public Spending in Central, East and Southeast Europe," wiiw Working Papers 71, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    2. Yuan, Cheng & Zhang, Lei, 2015. "Public education spending and private substitution in urban China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 124-139.
    3. Markussen, Thomas, 2011. "Democracy, redistributive taxation and the private provision of public goods," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 201-213, March.
    4. Di Gioacchino, Debora & Sabani, Laura, 2009. "Education policy and inequality: A political economy approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 463-478, December.
    5. Vivien Kappel, 2010. "The Effects of Financial Development on Income Inequality and Poverty," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 10/127, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    6. Claudio Agostini & Phillip Brown, 2007. "Desigualdad geográfica en Chile," Revista de Analisis Economico – Economic Analysis Review, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines, vol. 22(1), pages 3-33, June.
    7. Mazumder, Debojyoti & Santra, Sattwik, 2009. "Unemployment and Inheritance Linkage: A Dynamic General Equilibrium Analysis," MPRA Paper 57161, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Elena SUMAN (TOMA) & Marius Frunza, 2011. "Considerations Regarding the Role of Taxes in Correcting the Economical and Social Inequalities on the Base of Globalization Process," EuroEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 30, pages 15-27, November.

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