Can democracy help with inequality?

Daron Acemoglu, Suresh Naidu, Pascual Restrepo, James A Robinson 07 February 2014

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There is a great deal of concern at the moment about the consequences of rising levels of inequality in North America and Western Europe. Will this lead to an oligarchisation of the political system, and imperil political and social stability? Many find such dynamics puzzling given that it is happening in democratic countries. In democratic societies, there ought to be political mechanisms that can inhibit or reverse large rises in inequality, most likely through the fiscal system.

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Topics:  Politics and economics Poverty and income inequality

Tags:  democracy, Inequality, redistribution, Median Voter, Director’s Law

Why do candidates move along the political spectrum?

Richard Holden, Alberto Alesina 22 September 2008

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The most famous result in political science (Downs 1957) is that in a two candidate electoral race the two contestants should move toward the middle of the political spectrum. More precisely they should propose the policy preferred by the median voter. Given that this is the best strategy for the two candidates, they should be as clear as possible on what they are doing and eliminate every uncertainty about their platforms.

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Topics:  Politics and economics

Tags:  elections, Median Voter

From attitudes towards immigration to immigration policy outcomes: Does public opinion rule?

Giovanni Facchini, Anna Maria Mayda 21 June 2008

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Several recent studies (Anderson and Winters 2008, World Bank 2006) have pointed out that substantial gains can be achieved from the liberalisation of international migration flows, both for sending and receiving countries.1 At the same time, recent estimates (Goldin and Reinert 2006), suggest that only 11 million individuals, i.e. just one in six hundred migrate each year. The stock of migrants is larger.

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Topics:  Migration

Tags:  immigration policy, Median Voter, pro-immigration interest groups

How individual attitudes are mapped into immigration policy outcomes

Giovanni Facchini, Anna Maria Mayda ,

Date Published

Tue, 05/27/2008

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According to recent estimates, about 11 million individuals migrate each year. Although this might look as a large number, it implies that worldwide only one in six hundred individuals changes country of residence over a twelve months period. Provided that the income gap between poor sending countries and rich destination countries continues to be very pronounced and transport and communication costs have drastically declined compared to one hundred years ago, it appears that restrictive migration policies are key determinants of the limited flows actually observed.

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