Economics at your fingertips  

Inequality, participation, and polarization

Razvan Vlaicu ()
Additional contact information
Razvan Vlaicu: Research Department, Inter-American Development Bank

Social Choice and Welfare, 2018, vol. 50, issue 4, 597-624

Abstract: Abstract The upward co-movement of income inequality and partisan polarization in the U.S. is typically attributed to intensified class conflict or a political wealth bias. This paper formalizes a theory of polarization where changes in the income distribution do not affect citizens’ policy preferences, but instead change their patterns of political participation: aggregate voting decreases relative to aggregate giving, reducing the electoral penalty for partisan policies. By endogenizing party composition the model captures both the ideological and compositional dimensions of polarization, and addresses less-discussed polarization features, such as intra-party homogeneity and the increase in safe seats. According to the model, observed polarization patterns imply that parties have diverged more than candidates, and that the gap between party and candidate divergence has increased with income inequality.

Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... c+theory/journal/355

Access Statistics for this article

Social Choice and Welfare is currently edited by Bhaskar Dutta, Marc Fleurbaey, Elizabeth Maggie Penn and Clemens Puppe

More articles in Social Choice and Welfare from Springer, The Society for Social Choice and Welfare Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

Page updated 2020-01-17
Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:50:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s00355-017-1098-9