IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Egalitarianism and the democratic deconsolidation: Is democracy compatible with socialism?


  • François Facchini

    (University Paris 1 Sorbonne)

  • Mickael Melki

    (Paris School of Business)


The unprecedented reduction in popular support for democracy represents a risk of democratic deconsolidation. The new situation echoes old debates on the compatibility of democracy with capitalism and socialism. This article provides empirical support for the incompatibility of socialism with democracy by providing evidence suggesting that when citizens adopt egalitarianism as a supreme value, they are ready to sacrifice democracy for the sake of equality. Using individual data, we observe that the decline in support for democracy over generations and over time is accompanied by rising support for egalitarian values in US and European democracies. Moreover, democracies with stronger preferences for egalitarianism also have less public support for democracy, suggesting a tradeoff between both values.

Suggested Citation

  • François Facchini & Mickael Melki, 2021. "Egalitarianism and the democratic deconsolidation: Is democracy compatible with socialism?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 447-465, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:186:y:2021:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-019-00744-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-019-00744-x

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Farrant, Andrew & McPhail, Edward, 2009. "Hayek, Samuelson, and the logic of the mixed economy?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 5-16, January.
    2. Peter Bernholz, 2017. "Totalitarianism, Terrorism and Supreme Values," Studies in Public Choice, Springer, number 978-3-319-56907-9, December.
    3. Ruggie, John Gerard, 1982. "International regimes, transactions, and change: embedded liberalism in the postwar economic order," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 379-415, April.
    4. James A. Piazza, 2019. "Democratic skepticism and support for terrorism in the Palestinian Territories," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 178(3), pages 417-443, March.
    5. Joshua C. Hall & Robert A. Lawson, 2014. "Economic Freedom Of The World: An Accounting Of The Literature," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(1), pages 1-19, January.
    6. Alvin H. Hansen, 1960. "The Economics Of The Soviet Challenge," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 36(73), pages 5-12, March.
    7. Hans Pitlik & Ludek Kouba, 2015. "Does social distrust always lead to a stronger support for government intervention?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 355-377, June.
    8. Christian Bjørnskov & Martin Paldam, 2012. "The spirits of capitalism and socialism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 469-498, March.
    9. Vani Borooah & Anastasios Katos & Eleni Katsouli, 2013. "Inter-country differences in voter satisfaction with the democratic process: a study of world elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 569-584, December.
    10. Bernholz, Peter, 2004. "Supreme values as the basis for terror," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 317-333, June.
    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. Roger D. Congleton, 2020. "Governance by true believers: supreme duties with and without totalitarianism," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 111-141, March.
    2. Pitlik, Hans & Rode, Martin, 2017. "Individualistic values, institutional trust, and interventionist attitudes," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(3), pages 575-598, September.
    3. Moamen Gouda & Jerg Gutmann, 2021. "Islamic constitutions and religious minorities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 243-265, March.
    4. Nikolaev, Boris & Boudreaux, Christopher & Salahodjaev, Rauf, 2017. "Are individualistic societies less equal? Evidence from the parasite stress theory of values," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 30-49.
    5. Peter Nannestad, 2021. "Salem with and without witches, and also Geneva and Berlin," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 229-239, March.
    6. Artyom Jelnov, 2021. "Third-party intervention in the presence of supreme values," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 267-274, March.
    7. Niclas Berggren & Christian Bjørnskov, 2017. "The Market‐Promoting and Market‐Preserving Role of Social Trust in Reforms of Policies and Institutions," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 84(1), pages 3-25, July.
    8. Arye L. Hillman & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2021. "Investigation in search of truth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 223-228, March.
    9. Bjã˜Rnskov, Christian, 2018. "The Hayek–Friedman hypothesis on the press: is there an association between economic freedom and press freedom?," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(4), pages 617-638, August.
    10. Jan Fałkowski & Przemysław Kurek, 2020. "The transformation of supreme values: Evidence from Poland on salvation through civic engagement," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 185(1), pages 113-129, October.
    11. Arye L. Hillman, 2021. "Harming a favored side: an anomaly with supreme values and good intentions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 275-285, March.
    12. Hillman, Arye L. & Long, Ngo V., 2018. "Policies and prizes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 99-109.
    13. J. Clark & Robert Lawson & Alex Nowrasteh & Benjamin Powell & Ryan Murphy, 2015. "Does immigration impact institutions?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 321-335, June.
    14. Dani Rodrik, 2018. "Populism and the economics of globalization," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 1(1), pages 12-33, June.
    15. Makovi, Michael, 2016. "Labor Economics in a Planned Economy: F. A. Hayek and John Jewkes on the Impossibility of Democratic Socialism," MPRA Paper 70174, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Bjørnskov, Christian, 2015. "Does economic freedom really kill? On the association between ‘Neoliberal’ policies and homicide rates," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 207-219.
    17. Cohen, Joseph N., 2008. "Managing the Faustian bargain: monetary autonomy in the pursuit of development in Eastern Europe and Latin America," MPRA Paper 22435, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. repec:spr:revint:v:16:y:2021:i:4:d:10.1007_s11558-020-09404-y is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Matthias Busse & Ruth Hoekstra & Robert Darko Osei, 2017. "The Effectiveness of aid in Improving Regulations: An Empirical Assessment," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 85(3), pages 368-385, September.
    20. Michelle Egan, 2019. "EU Single Market(s) after Brexit," Politics and Governance, Cogitatio Press, vol. 7(3), pages 19-29.
    21. Kono Daniel Y., 2011. "Insuring Free Trade: Unemployment Insurance and Trade Policy," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(3), pages 1-31, October.

    More about this item


    Democracy; Deconsolidation; Egalitarianism; Millennials;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation


    Access and download statistics


    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:186:y:2021:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-019-00744-x. 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: .

    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: .

    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.