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Fractionalization and the Size of Government

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  • Jo Lind

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Abstract

I study the effect of voters with a group-based social conscience. Voters care more about the well-being of those belonging to their own group than the rest of the population. Within a model of political tax determination, both fractionalization and group antagonism reduce the support for redistribution. Whereas within group inequality increases support for redistribution, inequality between groups has the opposite effect. All these results hold even if a poor group forms a majority. Using a panel data set constructed from US micro data, I find support for the hypothesis that within race inequality increases redistribution while between race inequality decreases redistribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Jo Lind, 2004. "Fractionalization and the Size of Government," LIS Working papers 383, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:lis:liswps:383
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    3. Keefer, Philip & Knack, Stephen, 2002. "Polarization, Politics and Property Rights: Links between Inequality and Growth," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(1-2), pages 127-154, March.
    4. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    5. Moene, Karl Ove & Wallerstein, Michael, 2001. "Inequality, Social Insurance, and Redistribution," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 95(4), pages 859-874, December.
    6. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
    7. Branko Milanovic, 2000. "The Median Voter Hypothesis, Income Inequality and Income Redistribution: An Empirical Test with the Required Data," LIS Working papers 256, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    8. Milanovic, Branko, 2000. "The median-voter hypothesis, income inequality, and income redistribution: an empirical test with the required data," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 367-410, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sabine Flamand, 2015. "Interregional transfers, group loyalty and the decentralization of redistribution," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 307-330, November.

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