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Clientelism, income inequality, and social preferences: an evolutionary approach to poverty traps

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  • Jorge Andrés Gallego Durán

    ()

  • Rafal Raciborski

    ()

Abstract

Political clientelism is a dyadic relation in which a politician (the patron) gives material goods and services to a citizen (the client), in exchange for political support. We argue that there is a two-way relation between clientelism and income inequality and poverty. In a poor society in which income inequality is high, clientelism will be a natural outcome. Once clientelism is established, it is harder for democracy to redistribute income and it is easier for the society to be caught in a poverty trap. We develop a two-part game-theoretic model. In the first part, clientelism emerges in a poor and unequal society as a consequence of social preferences, in particular, strong reciprocity. In the second part, using evolutionary and stochastic game theory, we show that clientelism causes income inequality and poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Andrés Gallego Durán & Rafal Raciborski, 2008. "Clientelism, income inequality, and social preferences: an evolutionary approach to poverty traps," DOCUMENTOS DE ECONOMÍA 004717, UNIVERSIDAD JAVERIANA - BOGOTÁ.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000108:004717
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrés Cendales & Jhon James Mora, 2015. "Precarious democracies, political negotiation and selective predation," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 30(2), pages 305-339.

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