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Left, Right, Left: Income, Learning and Political Dynamics

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  • John Morrow
  • Michael Carter

Abstract

The political left turn in Latin America, which lagged its transition to liberalized market economies by a decade or more, challenges conventional economic explanations of voting behavior. This paper generalizes the forward-looking voter model to a broad range of dynamic, non-concave income processes. The model implies support for redistributive policies materializes rapidly if few prospects of upward mobility are present. In contrast, modeling voters' ideologically charged beliefs about income dynamics shows a slow and polarizing shift toward redistributive preferences occurs. Simulation using fitted income dynamics suggests that imperfect information better accounts for the shift back to the left, and offers additional insights about political dynamics.

Suggested Citation

  • John Morrow & Michael Carter, 2013. "Left, Right, Left: Income, Learning and Political Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 19498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19498 Note: DEV POL
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sweder J. G. van Wijnbergen & Tim Willems, 2016. "Learning Dynamics and Support for Economic Reforms: Why Good News Can Be Bad," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 30(1), pages 1-23.
    2. Anderson, Kym & Strutt, Anna, 2014. "Food security policy options for China: Lessons from other countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 50-58.
    3. Marcus André Melo & Armando Barrientos & André Canuto Coelho, 2014. "Taxation, redistribution and the social contract in Brazil," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series iriba_wp11, BWPI, The University of Manchester.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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