The political economy of redistribution under democracy
We ask what redistributions of income and assets are feasible in a democracy, given the initial assets and their distribution. The question is motivated by the possibility that if redistribution is insufficient for the poor or excessive for the rich, they may turn against democracy. In turn, if no redistribution simultaneously satisfies the poor and the wealthy, democracy cannot be sustained. Hence, the corollary question concerns the conditions under which democracy is sustainable. Since decisions to save are endogenous, we solve explicitly for the current growth rates given any time path of future tax rates. We find that the optimal path of redistribution chosen by the median voter under the constraint of rebellion by the poor or the wealthy consists of redistributing as much as possible as soon as possible. However, this path is time inconsistent unless voters punish governments that deviate from their promises. Democracies survive in wealthy societies, with a lower average capital stock when they are more equal.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 29 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/economic+theory/journal/199/PS2|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Bertola, Giuseppe, 1993.
"Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1184-98, December.
- Helliwell, John F., 1994.
"Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth,"
British Journal of Political Science,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 225-248, April.
- John F. Helliwell, 1992. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1997.
"Optimal Taxes without Commitment,"
Journal of Economic Theory,
Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 231-259, December.
- Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Heng-fu Zou, 1998.
"Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality,"
CEMA Working Papers
73, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
- William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997.
"Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
- Easterly, W & Levine, R, 1996. "Africa's Growth Tragedy : Policies and Ethnic Divisions," Papers 536, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
- Robert J. Barro, 1989.
"Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries,"
NBER Working Papers
3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Benhabib, Jess & Velasco, Andres, 1996. "On the optimal and best sustainable taxes in an open economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 135-154, January.
- Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1996. "Social Conflict and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 125-42, March.
- Chamley, Christophe, 1985. "Efficient Taxation in a Stylized Model of Intertemporal General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 451-68, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:29:y:2006:i:2:p:271-290. 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: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.