Chapter 21

Democracy, Redistribution, and Inequality

Daron Acemoglu*; Suresh Naidu; Pascual Restrepo*; James A. Robinson    * Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA Columbia University, NY, USA Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA


In this paper we revisit the relationship between democracy, redistribution, and inequality. We first explain the theoretical reasons why democracy is expected to increase redistribution and reduce inequality, and why this expectation may fail to be realized when democracy is captured by the richer segments of the population; when it caters to the preferences of the middle class; or when it opens up disequalizing opportunities to segments of the population previously excluded from ...

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