Are the Rich Too Rich to be Expropriated?: Economic Power and the Feasibility of Constitutional Limits to Redistribution
Why is it that, in democracies, the poor do not expropriate the rich even though they outnumber them? In this paper the authors analyze the commonly held belief that the rich escape expropriation because they are economically powerful. They demonstrate that the economically powerful, i.e., the above-average income earners, are indeed in a position to bribe the small segment of the voters with incomes between the median and the mean to resist the temptation of supporting confiscatory taxation. This is true even if compensation payments in cash are politically unfeasible and therefore need to be made in terms of an evenly distributed private good; and it may even be true if only pure public goods are available to swing the middle class. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991.
"Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-84, September.
- Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1989. "Public Provision Of Private Goods And The Redistribution Of Income," Papers 36, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
- Bowles, Roger & Jones, Philip, 1991. "Political participation and the limits to redistribution," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 127-139, July.
- Roemer, J.E., 1995.
"Why the Poor Do not Expropriate the Rich in Democracies: A New Argument,"
95-04, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
- Roemer, J.E., 1995. "Why the Poor Do not Expropriate the Rich in Democracies: A New Argument," Department of Economics 95-04, California Davis - Department of Economics.
- Eichberger, Jurgen & Pethig, Rudiger, 1994.
"Constitutional choice of rules,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 311-337, July.
- Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
- Piketty, Thomas, 1995.
"Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 551-84, August.
- 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 914-27, October.
- Ireland, Norman J., 1990. "The mix of social and private provision of goods and services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 201-219, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:94:y:1998:i:1-2:p:135-56. 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: (Guenther Eichhorn)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.