Democracy and income inequality : an empirical analysis
Standard political economy theories suggest that democratization has a moderating effect on income inequality. But the empirical literature has failed to uncover any such robust relationship. The authors take another look at the issue. The authors argue that prevailing ideology may be an important determinant of inequality and that the democratization effect"works through"ideology. In societies that value equality highly there is less distributional conflict among income groups, so democratization may have only a negligible effect on inequality. But in societies that value equality less, democratization reduces inequality through redistribution as the poor outvote the rich. The authors'cross-country empirical analysis, covering 126 countries in 1960-98, confirms the hypothesis: ideology, as proxied by a country's dominant religion, seems to be related to inequality. In addition, while in Judeo-Christian societies increased democratization appears to lead to lower inequality, in Muslim and Confucian societies it has an insignificant effect. The authors hypothesize that Muslim and Confucian societies rely on informal transfers to reach the desired level of inequality, while Judeo-Christian societies, where family ties are weaker, use political action.
|Date of creation:||31 Mar 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Hochman, Harold M & Rodgers, James D, 1969. "Pareto Optimal Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 542-57, Part I Se.
- John Micklewright & John Flemming, 1999.
"Income Distribution, Economic Systems and Transition,"
iopeps99/69, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
- Flemming, J.S. & Micklewright, John, 2000. "Income distribution, economic systems and transition," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 843-918 Elsevier.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"A Theory of Social Interactions,"
NBER Working Papers
0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998.
"Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
- Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 73, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Easterly, William, 2000.
"the middle class consensus and economic development,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2346, The World Bank.
- Easterly, William, 2001. " The Middle Class Consensus and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 317-35, December.
- Michael Rothschild & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1972.
"Some Further Results on the Measurement of Inequality,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
344, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1973. "Some further results on the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 188-204, April.
- Atkinson,Anthony Barnes & Micklewright,John, 1992.
"Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Distribution of Income,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521433297.
- Atkinson,Anthony Barnes & Micklewright,John, 1992. "Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Distribution of Income," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438827.
- 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.
- 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 914-27, October.
- Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2000.
"A model of cultural transmission, voting and political ideology,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 5-29, March.
- Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "A model of cultural transmission, voting and political ideology," DELTA Working Papers 1999-13, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
- Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1999. "A Model of Cultural Transmission, Voting and Political Ideology," Papers 1999-13, Laval - Laboratoire Econometrie.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999.
"Political Economics and Public Finance,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2235, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Public Finance," Working Papers 149, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1999. "Political Economics and Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 7097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996.
"A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality,"
CEMA Working Papers
512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
- repec:oup:qjecon:v:114:y:1999:i:3:p:707-738 is not listed on IDEAS
- Milanovic, Branko, 1998. "Explaining the increase in inequality during the transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1935, The World Bank.
- Hillman, Arye L. & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2000. "Political culture and economic decline," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 189-213, June.
- Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999.
"A Data Set on Income Distribution,"
CEMA Working Papers
575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 2000. "Human capital, social capital, and public schooling," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 879-890, May.
- Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
- Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
- Milanovic, Branko & DEC, 1994. "Determinants of cross-country income inequality : an augmented Kuznets hypothesis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1246, The World Bank.
- Ahluwalia, Montek S., 1976. "Inequality, poverty and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-342, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2561. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.