Democracy, Inequality, and Representation in Comparative Perspective
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Title Page, Copyright
About the Authors
Part 1. The Context
1. Income Inequality and Democratic Representation
Similar concerns haunt academics and policy makers throughout the old world as recent scholarship suggests that excessive inequalities attack the foundations of democratic political regimes (Acemoglu and Robinson 2006; Boix 2003) and the distributive consequences of markets become increasingly unequal. But these long-standing and unresolved...
2. Inequality Patterns in Western Democracies: Cross-Country Differences and Changes over Time
There is some intuitive appeal in the idea that democracy is associated with a more equal distribution of income. By allowing for a better representation of the interest of the poorest classes in the society, democratic institutions may be instrumental in the adoption of progressive redistributive policies. Thus, in his celebrated model of an inverted-U relationship...
3. Social Rights, Welfare Generosity, and Inequality
Comparative analyses of welfare state reform have relied overwhelmingly on public spending as the indicator of program commitment and change.1 Yet many welfare state scholars have long criticized the use of this type of data, emphasizing the importance of nonspending features of welfare state institutions for understanding the impact of national social...
Part 2. How Democratic Politics Shapes Inequality
4. Electoral Institutions, Parties, and the Politics of Class: Explaining the Formation of Redistributive Coalitions
There is considerable variation in the extent to which governments redistribute income, and there is broad agreement that the explanation for such redistribution lies in the design of political institutions and partisan responses to inequality (see also the chapters by Brandolini and Smeeding, Beramendi and Cusack, and Rueda, this volume). But just how politics...
5. Economic Institutions, Partisanship, and Inequality
There is a “transatlantic consensus” on the recent developments in economic inequality (Atkinson 1999). This is the widely shared view that the waxing wage and income inequality seen in the principal Anglo- Saxon countries during the last decades is also reflected in similar rises within most other developed economies. Wages and salaries have grown...
6. Political Agency and Institutions: Explaining the Influence of Left Government and Corporatism on Inequality
It is well known that wage inequality has increased dramatically in the United States over the last three decades. From 1973 to 1998, the hourly earnings of a full-time worker in the ninetieth percentile of the American distribution (someone whose earnings exceeded those of 90 percent of all workers) relative to a worker in the tenth percentile grew...
Part 3. How Inequality Shapes Democratic Politics
7. Economic Shocks, Inequality, and Popular Support for Redistribution
Despite numerous predictions to the contrary, globalization has not led to convergence in redistribution policies in different countries. This chapter argues that this does not come as a surprise, at least if we conceptualize the politics of redistribution as interaction between exogenous shocks, popular demand for compensation, and government responsiveness to...
8. Inequality and Unemployment,Redistribution and Social Insurance,and Participation: A Theoretical Model and an Empirical System of Endogenous Equations
Conflicts of interest over the generosity and structure of redistribution and social insurance (which we call, jointly, social policy) include the conflict between the relatively poor and wealthy (which theoretically produces the familiar median-voter result that democratic demand for broad redistribution increases in the income skew) and the conflict between...
9. Income, Inequality, and Electoral Participation
The supposition that material welfare influences whether and how citizens participate in democratic politics has a long and rich tradition in the social sciences. Moreover, the notion that income and income inequality matter to democratic processes and the quality of democratic outcomes is widely accepted. Yet, while scholars have vigorously investigated the...
10. Inequality as a Source of Political Polarization: A Comparative Analysis of Twelve OECD Countries
This chapter focuses on the effects of income inequality on party politics in industrialized democracies. Having devoted a great deal of attention to the political determinants of income distribution in the 1990s, students of comparative political economy have recently begun to address how the distribution of income affects politics and, in particular, government...
11. Inequality and Institutions: What Theory, History, and (Some) Data Tell Us
That institutions covary with political and economic inequality seems obvious. Societies with feudal or clientelistic politics are characterized by extreme economic inequality, and democracies are associated (despite some notable exceptions) with greater economic equality than autocracies. Even within the set of democracies, institutions and inequality seem...
12. Inequality and Democratic Representation: The Road Traveled and the Path Ahead
The chapters in this book have examined the relationship between income inequality and processes of democratic representation in the advanced democracies of the West. They have traced the dimensions, evolution, and differences in income inequality across most if not all of the rich countries, including the United States and much of Europe. But...
Page Count: 448
Publication Year: 2008
OCLC Number: 609106804
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