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Distribution and politics: a brief history and prospect

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  • John Roemer

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Abstract

A brief, historical review of the study of the interdependency between politics and economic distribution is offered. While the impact of economic interests on politics has been acknowledged for thousands of years, and the impact of politics on distribution for hundreds, it is only in the last thirty years that formal models of the interdependency between economic distribution and politics have been formulated. A general model of political-economic equilibrium is proposed, in which political competition and economic distribution jointly determine each other. Several examples are given. The author proposes that political economy, conceived of as studying this process of joint determination, is in its infancy.
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Suggested Citation

  • John Roemer, 2005. "Distribution and politics: a brief history and prospect," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 25(2), pages 507-525, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:25:y:2005:i:2:p:507-525
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-005-0016-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Woojin Lee & John E. Roemer, 2005. "The Rise and Fall of Unionised Labour Markets: A Political Economy Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 28-67, January.
    2. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-296, June.
    3. Ignacio Ortuño Ortín & John E. Roemer, 2000. "Endogenous Party Formation And The Effect Of Income Distribution On Policy," Working Papers. Serie AD 2000-06, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    4. Jack High (ed.), 2001. "Competition," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1751.
    5. Roberts, Donald John, 1974. "The Lindahl solution for economies with public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 23-42, February.
    6. Joaquim Silvestre, 2003. "Wicksell, Lindahl and the Theory of Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(4), pages 527-553, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. De Donder, Philippe & Hindriks, Jean, 2007. "Equilibrium social insurance with policy-motivated parties," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 624-640, September.
    2. Tsuchimoto Menkyna, Fusako, 2014. "A theory of ethnic diversity and income distribution: A legislative bargaining approach," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 52-67.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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