IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/erg/wpaper/493.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Political Economy of Inequality

Author

Listed:
  • James A. Robinson

    () (Harvard University, Department of Government and IQSS)

Abstract

The extent of inequality in society is determined by the distribution of assets, the rates of returns on different assets, and government policy. All of these things are deeply political and reflect the balance of political power in society and the institutions to which this balance gives rise. I illustrate this perspective on the determination of inequality by a case study of the Sudan and argue that in the Middle East and North African countries it suggests a paradox - inequality is much lower than one might anticipate. I make some conjectures about why this might be based on a comparison with the historical development of inequality in Latin America.

Suggested Citation

  • James A. Robinson, 2009. "The Political Economy of Inequality," Working Papers 493, Economic Research Forum, revised Jun 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:493
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://erf.org.eg/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/493.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://bit.ly/2mbGOiD
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    2. Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Democracies Pay Higher Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 707-738.
    3. Morrisson, Christian & Snyder, Wayne, 2000. "The income inequality of France in historical perspective," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(01), pages 59-83, April.
    4. Yousef, Tarik M., 2000. "The Political Economy of Interwar Egyptian Cotton Policy," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 301-325, October.
    5. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-867, June.
    6. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2008. "Persistence of Power, Elites, and Institutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 267-293, March.
    7. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1998. "Real Wages and Relative Facctor Prices in the Third World 1820-1940: the Mediterranean Basin," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1842, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    8. Adams, Richard Jr. & Page, John, 2003. "Poverty, Inequality and Growth in Selected Middle East and North Africa Countries, 1980-2000," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 2027-2048, December.
    9. Sevket Pamuk & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "Ottoman De-Industrialization 1800-1913: Assessing the Shock, Its Impact and the Response," NBER Working Papers 14763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422.
    11. Alex Cobham (QEH), "undated". "Causes of conflict in Sudan: Testing the Black Book," QEH Working Papers qehwps121, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    12. Tarik M. Yousef, 2004. "Development, Growth and Policy Reform in the Middle East and North Africa since 1950," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 91-115, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:493. 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: (Sherine Ghoneim). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/erfaceg.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.