Income, civic participation and achieving greater democracy
Democratic society requires individuals to be autonomous, and those with greater resources are likely to enjoy greater autonomy. Democracy also assumes that individuals will participate in the affairs of their community, i.e. there will be civic engagement. But civic engagement may also be affected by individuals’ economic resources. Using data from Current Population Survey's Civic Participation file for 2008, this paper shows that individuals with higher incomes and/or from households with higher incomes will be more likely to be engaged in civic participation. While these findings are in lines with much of the existing literature on civic engagement, this paper uses these findings to make a speculative argument that to the extent that those with higher incomes are more likely to be civically engaged, it can then be inferred that a wage policy, which would enhance individual autonomy, might also result in greater civic engagement.
Volume (Year): 43 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
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