Inequality is currently a prominent topic of debate in Western democracies. In democratic countries, we might expect rising inequality to be partially offset by an increase in political support for redistribution. This column argues that the relationship between democracy, redistribution, and inequality is more complicated than that. Elites in newly democratised countries may hold on to power in other ways, the liberalisation of occupational choice may increase inequality among previously excluded groups, and the middle classes may redistribute income away from the poor as well as the rich.
Daron Acemoglu, Suresh Naidu, Pascual Restrepo, James A Robinson, 07 February 2014
Richard Holden, Alberto Alesina, 22 September 2008
In theory, presidential candidates should clearly articulate their platforms as they move to persuade the median voter. But candidates are often ambiguous and do not tack to the centre. Recent research documents how money-politics pulls candidates away from the median and encourages ambiguity.
Giovanni Facchini, Anna Maria Mayda, 21 June 2008
Public opinion is hostile to people flows. But new research shows that immigration would be even scarcer if the median voter determined policy. Pro-immigration interest groups have some policy sway.
Giovanni Facchini, Anna Maria Mayda, 27 May 2008
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. The authors of CEPR DP6835 examine the process through which individual attitudes are mapped into these immigration policy outcomes in democratic societies.