IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/pubcho/v111y2002i1-2p127-54.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Polarization, Politics and Property Rights: Links between Inequality and Growth

Author

Listed:
  • Keefer, Philip
  • Knack, Stephen

Abstract

We argue that social polarization reduces the security of property and contract rights and, through this channel, reduces growth. The first hypothesis is supported by cross-country evidence indicating that polarization in the form of income inequality, land inequality, and ethnic tensions is inversely related to a commonly-used index of the security of contractual and property rights. When the security of property rights is controlled for in cross-country growth regressions, the relationship between inequality and growth diminishes considerably. This and other evidence provides support for our second hypothesis, that inequality reduces growth in part through its effect on the security of property rights. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 2002. "Polarization, Politics and Property Rights: Links between Inequality and Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(1-2), pages 127-154, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:111:y:2002:i:1-2:p:127-54
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://journals.kluweronline.com/issn/0048-5829/contents
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    2. Rodrik, Dani, 1999. "Where Did All the Growth Go? External Shocks, Social Conflict, and Growth Collapses," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 385-412, December.
    3. Kenneth Shepsle & Barry Weingast, 1981. "Structure-induced equilibrium and legislative choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 503-519, January.
    4. Wang, T. Y. & Dixon, William J. & Muller, Edward N. & Seligson, Mitchell A., 1993. "Inequality and Political Violence Revisited," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 87(4), pages 979-993, December.
    5. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
    6. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1989. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 537-564.
    7. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    8. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    9. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    10. Helliwell, John F., 1994. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 225-248, April.
    11. Rauch, James E. & Evans, Peter B., 2000. "Bureaucratic structure and bureaucratic performance in less developed countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 49-71, January.
    12. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
    14. Svensson, Jakob, 1998. "Investment, property rights and political instability: Theory and evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1317-1341, July.
    15. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
    16. Shaohua Chen & Gaurav Datt & Martin Ravallion, 1994. "Is Poverty Increasing In The Developing World?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(4), pages 359-376, December.
    17. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
    18. Berg, Andrew & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1988. "The debt crisis structural explanations of country performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 271-306, November.
    19. Clague, Christopher & Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen & Olson, Mancur, 1996. "Property and Contract Rights in Autocracies and Democracies," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 243-276, June.
    20. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross‐Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    21. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
    22. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-187, June.
    23. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    24. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    25. Deininger, K & Squire, L, 1996. "Measuring Income Inequality : A New Data-Base," Papers 537, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    26. Alesina, Alberto & Özler, Sule & Roubini, Nouriel & Swagel, Phillip, 1996. "Political Instability and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 189-211, June.
    27. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-1188, December.
    28. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    29. Haggard, Stephan & Webb, Steven B, 1993. "What Do We Know about the Political Economy of Economic Policy Reform?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 8(2), pages 143-168, July.
    30. Chen, Shaohua & Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Is Poverty Increasing in the Developing World?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(4), pages 359-376, December.
    31. Muller, Edward N. & Seligson, Mitchell A., 1987. "Inequality and Insurgency," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(2), pages 425-451, June.
    32. Roland Benabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," LIS Working papers 142, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    33. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
    34. McKelvey, Richard D., 1976. "Intransitivities in multidimensional voting models and some implications for agenda control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 472-482, June.
    35. Davis, Otto A & DeGroot, Morris H & Hinich, Melvin J, 1972. "Social Preference Orderings and Majority Rule," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(1), pages 147-157, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Martin Baur, 2010. "Politics and Income Distribution," Chapters, in: Neri Salvadori (ed.), Institutional and Social Dynamics of Growth and Distribution, chapter 3, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Christophe Ehrhart, 2009. "The effects of inequality on growth: a survey of the theoretical and empirical literature," Working Papers 107, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Woo, Jaejoon, 2011. "Growth, income distribution, and fiscal policy volatility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 289-313, November.
    4. Grabiella Berloffa & Maria Luigia Segnana, 2004. "Trade, inequality and pro-poor growth: Two perspectives, one message?," Department of Economics Working Papers 0408, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    5. Gravier-Rymaszewska, Joanna & Tyrowicz, Joanna & Kochanowicz, Jacek, 2010. "Intra-provincial inequalities and economic growth in China," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 237-258, September.
    6. Marrero, Gustavo A. & Rodríguez, Juan G., 2013. "Inequality of opportunity and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 107-122.
    7. Jaejoon Woo, 2020. "Inequality, redistribution, and growth: new evidence on the trade-off between equality and efficiency," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 58(6), pages 2667-2707, June.
    8. Shinhye Chang & Rangan Gupta & Stephen M. Miller, 2018. "Causality Between Per Capita Real GDP and Income Inequality in the U.S.: Evidence from a Wavelet Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 269-289, January.
    9. Nobuhiro Mizuno & Katsuyuki Naito & Ryosuke Okazawa, 2017. "Inequality, extractive institutions, and growth in nondemocratic regimes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(1), pages 115-142, January.
    10. Charles-Coll, Jorge A., 2010. "The optimal rate of inequality: A framework for the relationship between income inequality and economic growth," MPRA Paper 28921, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Marta Simões & João Andrade & Adelaide Duarte, 2013. "A regional perspective on inequality and growth in Portugal using panel cointegration analysis," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 427-451, September.
    12. Easterly, William, 2007. "Inequality does cause underdevelopment: Insights from a new instrument," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 755-776, November.
    13. N. N., 2003. "The Impact of Inequality on Economic Growth," WIFO Working Papers 211, WIFO.
    14. Panizza, Ugo, 2002. "Income Inequality and Economic Growth: Evidence from American Data," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 25-41, March.
    15. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2004. "Inequality, Tolerance, and Growth," Working Papers 04-8, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    16. Lewis S. Davis, 2004. "Explaining the Evidence on Inequality and Growth: Informality and Redistribution," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_032, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    17. Blanco, Luisa, 2010. "Life is Unfair in Latin America, But Does it Matter for Growth?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 393-404, March.
    18. Martin Ravallion, 2012. "Why Don't We See Poverty Convergence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 504-523, February.
    19. Aysan, Ahmet Faruk, 2005. "The Role of Efficiency of Redistributive Institutions on Redistribution: An Empirical Assessment," MPRA Paper 17773, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Ugo Panizza, 1999. "Desigualdad del ingreso y crecimiento económico: elementos de juicio de datos de USA," Research Department Publications 4179, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:111:y:2002:i:1-2:p:127-54. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.