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Community and Class Antagonism

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  • Dasgupta, Indraneel
  • Kanbur, Ravi

Abstract

We investigate how vertical unity within a community interacts with horizontal class divisions of an unequal income distribution. Community is conceptualized in terms of a public good to which all those in the community have equal access, but from which outsiders are excluded. We formulate the idea of redistributive tension, or class antagonism, in terms of the costs that poorer individuals would be willing to impose on the rich, to achieve a given gain in personal income. Our conclusion is that the nominal distribution of income could give a misleading picture of tensions in society, both within and across communities. Ideologies of community solidarity may well trump those of class solidarity because of the implicit sharing of community resources brought about by community-specific public goods. Greater economic mobility of particular types may actually exacerbate class tensions instead of attenuating them. We illustrate our theoretical results with a discussion of a number of historical episodes of shifting class tensions and alliances.

Suggested Citation

  • Dasgupta, Indraneel & Kanbur, Ravi, 2007. "Community and Class Antagonism," Working Papers 127009, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:127009
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Indraneel Dasgupta, & Ravi Kanbur, "undated". "Should Egalitarians Expropriate Philanthropists?," Discussion Papers 07/13, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
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    6. Dasgupta, Indraneel & Kanbur, Ravi, 2003. "Bridging Communal Divides: Separation, Patronage, Integration," Working Papers 127235, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    7. Robert Breunig & Indraneel Dasgupta, 2005. "Do Intra-Household Effects Generate the Food Stamp Cash-Out Puzzle?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 552-568.
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    14. Robert Breunig & Indraneel Dasgupta, 2003. "Are People Ashamed of Paying with Food Stamps?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 203-225.
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    17. Indraneel Dasgupta & Ravi Kanbur, 2005. "Community and anti-poverty targeting," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 3(3), pages 281-302, December.
    18. Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert, 2004. "Persistent parochialism: trust and exclusion in ethnic networks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-23, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ronelle BURGER & Indraneel DASGUPTA & Trudy OWENS, 2015. "Why Pay NGOs to Involve the Community?," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(1), pages 7-31, March.
    2. Indraneel Dasgupta, & Ravi Kanbur, "undated". "Should Egalitarians Expropriate Philanthropists?," Discussion Papers 07/13, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    3. Kanbur, Ravi & Rajaram, Prem Kumar & Varshney, Ashutosh, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity and Ethnic Strife. An Interdisciplinary Perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 147-158, February.
    4. repec:wbk:wbpubs:28017 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Indraneel Dasgupta, "undated". "Why Praise Inequality? Public Good Provision, Income Distribution and Social Welfare," Discussion Papers 08/07, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
    6. repec:kap:pubcho:v:174:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-018-0506-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Christophe Muller, 2017. "Ethnic Horizontal Inequity in Indonesia," AMSE Working Papers 1715, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
    8. Iñaki Permanyer & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2015. "Measuring Social Polarization with Ordinal and Categorical Data," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(3), pages 311-327, June.
    9. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2011. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity, and Citizen Participation: Evidence from Indonesia," IDEP Working Papers 1101, Institut d'economie publique (IDEP), Marseille, France, revised May 2011.
    10. Ed Hopkins, 2008. "Inequality, happiness and relative concerns: What actually is their relationship?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 6(4), pages 351-372, December.
    11. Dasgupta, Indraneel, 2009. "'Living' wage, class conflict and ethnic strife," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 750-765, November.
    12. Dasgupta Indraneel, 2011. "Mother or Child? Intra-household Redistribution under Gender-Asymmetric Altruism," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-27, August.
    13. Federica VIGANO & Andrea SALUSTRI, 2015. "Matching profit and Non-profit Needs: How NPOs and Cooperative Contribute to Growth in Time of Crisis. A Quantitative Approach," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(1), pages 157-178, March.
    14. Dasgupta, Indraneel & Mukherjee, Diganta, 2014. "Assimilation, Criminality and Ethnic Conflict," IZA Discussion Papers 7924, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Indraneel Dasgupta & Ranajoy Guha Neogi, 2018. "Between-group contests over group-specific public goods with within-group fragmentation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 174(3), pages 315-334, March.
    16. Astrid SIMILON, 2015. "Self-Regulation Systems for NPO Coordination: Strenghts and Weaknesses of Label and Umbrella Mechanisms," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(1), pages 89-104, March.
    17. Indraneel Dasgupta & Ravi Kanbur, 2011. "Does philanthropy reduce inequality?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(1), pages 1-21, March.
    18. Casey, Gregory P. & Owen, Ann L., 2014. "Inequality and Fractionalization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 32-50.
    19. Vivekananda Mukherjee & Tilak Sanyal, 2011. "A NOTE ON WELFARE EFFECT AND DESIRABILITY OF INEQUALITY INDUCING TRANSFERS-super-♣," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 82(3), pages 301-311, September.
    20. Christophe Muller, 2016. "Ethnic inequality and community activities in Indonesia," WIDER Working Paper Series 170, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    21. Bakshi, Dripto & Dasgupta, Indraneel, 2015. "A Model of Dynamic Conflict in Ethnocracies," IZA Discussion Papers 9159, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Bakshi, Dripto & Dasgupta, Indraneel, 2016. "Identity Conflict with Cross-Border Spillovers," IZA Discussion Papers 9731, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Community; Public Goods; Inequality; Distribution; Class Conflict; Ethnic Conflict.; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; Public Economics; D31; D63; D74; Z13;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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