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A Theory of Ethnic Diversity and Income Distribution

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  • Fusako Tsuchimoto

Abstract

In this paper, how the two dimensions of heterogeneity of people in society, income disparity and ethnic diversity, affect the reallocation of the income is examined. Specifically a legislative bargaining model is constructed to investigate how the political parties whose platforms are distinguished by ethnicity and income group, form a coalition and enter a government to implement their preferred fiscal policy is analyzed. The result of the model suggests, that the preferred partner for coalition is the group with smaller population size (cheaper to buy) and lower income level (easier to tax). Combined with the idea of Kuznets curve, this result suggests that in poor countries ethnic coalitions tend to occur and in the middle and high income countries, class coalitions are likely to occur. Further I extend the model such that the member in the coalition gets per-capita transfer equally to overcome the shortcomings of the conventional model. The extended model shows that if the rich is in the majority, forming an oversized coalition might be the optimal strategy, which is consistent with empirical findings in some developed countries, such as Denmark or Sweden.

Suggested Citation

  • Fusako Tsuchimoto, 2009. "A Theory of Ethnic Diversity and Income Distribution," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp395, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp395
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Diermeier, Daniel & Merlo, Antonio, 2000. "Government Turnover in Parliamentary Democracies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 46-79, September.
    2. Fernández, Raquel & Levy, Gilat, 2008. "Diversity and redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 925-943, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Marina Azzimonti Renzo, 2004. "On the dynamic inefficiency of governments," 2004 Meeting Papers 228, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    6. Patrick Bolton & Gérard Roland, 1997. "The Breakup of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1057-1090.
    7. David P. Baron & Daniel Diermeier, 2001. "Elections, Governments, and Parliaments in Proportional Representation Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 933-967.
    8. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Economy; diversity; legislative bargaining.;

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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