Inequality, Development, and the Stability of Democracy – Lipset and Three Critical Junctures in German History
This paper studies the endogenous emergence of political regimes, in particular democracy, oligarchy and mass dictatorship, in societies in which productive resources are distributed unequally and institutions do not ensure political commitments. The political regime is shown to depend on resource inequality as well as on economic development, reflected in the production structure. The main results imply that for any level of development there exists a distribution of resources such that democracy is the political outcome. This distribution is even independent of the particular development level if the income share generated by the poor is sufficiently large. On the other hand, there are distributions of resources for which democracy is infeasible in equilibrium irrespective of the level of development. The model also delivers results on the stability of democracy. Variations in inequality across several dimensions due to unbalanced technological change, immigration or changes in the demographic structure affect the scope for democracy or may even lead to its breakdown. The results are consistent with the different political regimes that emerged in Germany after its unification in 1871.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +41 71 224 23 25
Fax: +41 71 224 31 35
Web page: http://www.seps.unisg.ch/Email:
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Frechette, Guillaume R. & Kagel, John H. & Morelli, Massimo, 2005. "Gamson's Law versus non-cooperative bargaining theory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 365-390, May.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Pierre Yared, 2005.
"Income and Democracy,"
NBER Working Papers
11205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A & Yared, Pierre, 2007.
"Reevaluating the Modernization Hypothesis,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6430, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2005.
"Hobbes to Rousseau: Inequality, Institutions, and Development,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1450, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Matteo Cervellati & Piergiuseppe Fortunato & Uwe Sunde, 2008. "Hobbes to Rousseau: Inequality, Institutions and Development," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1354-1384, 08.
- Dreze, J H & Greenberg, J, 1980.
"Hedonic Coalitions: Optimality and Stability,"
Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 987-1003, May.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1999.
"A Theory of Political Transitions,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Acemoglu, Daron, 2002.
"Directed Technical Change,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(4), pages 781-809, October.
- repec:bla:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:4:p:987-1009 is not listed on IDEAS
- Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997.
"On the Number and Size of Nations,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
- Humberto Llavador & Robert J. Oxoby, 2005.
"Partisan Competition, Growth, and the Franchise,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1155-1192, August.
- Humberto Llavador & Robert Oxoby, 2003. "Partisan competition, growth and the franchise," Economics Working Papers 730, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2004.
- Humberto Llavador & Robert J. Oxoby, 2004. "Partisan Competition, Growth and the Franchise," Working Papers 109, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994.
"On the Measurement of Polarization,"
Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
- Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Moreno, Diego & Wooders, John, 1996. "Coalition-Proof Equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 80-112, November.
- Bernheim, B. Douglas & Peleg, Bezalel & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria I. Concepts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-12, June.
- Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2008. "Coalition Formation in Non-Democracies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 987-1009.
- Cervellati, Matteo & Fortunato, Piergiuseppe & Sunde, Uwe, 2008. "Hobbes to rousseau: Inequality, institutions and development," Munich Reprints in Economics 20088, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Morrisson, Christian, 2000. "Historical perspectives on income distribution: The case of Europe," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 217-260 Elsevier.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2011:27. 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: (Martina Flockerzi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.